Friday, March 23, 2007

Bevo Rising

There's a lot of rehab going on in Little Bosna. Old storefronts are being reopened. There's an attractive new coffee shop opened just southwest of the old Gravois Bootery. Closer to the viaduct there's lots of mixed use rehabs. Even Bevo Mill is getting in the act, with frequent radio advertising on KTRS announcing "...Bevo Mill Game Time is..."

A couple of years ago, the city changed the lane configuration along Gravois through the area to create a 2-way center turn lane. However, after receiving complaints from concerned citizens, it was changed back. I must be in the minority, but I prefer the center turn lane alternative. It always feels safer making left turns when you aren't afraid someone is going to rear end you at 45 mph.

QuikTrip just closed its store across from the Bevo Days festival lot in favor of a much expanded offer a few blocks in at Chippewa and Gravois. Gas prices at the new store were 20 cents a gallon cheaper than what I paid yesterday at the Hampton and I-44 Shell.

With QuikTrip now doing some strategic store relocations, it will be interesting to see what happens to their closed locations. They are trying to sell them. The one at Gravois and Heege has been for sale for sometime, and they've lowered the price at least once.

For competition reasons, they probably would not allow a gas station to reopen at the sites. Maybe they're looking for quick oil change or auto repair uses?


stlmark said...

Which attractive new coffee house are you referring to? Berix? There coffee and latte's are top shelf. The food is fresh and quality Hungarian/Polish/Bosna/Meditteranean mixed style. I can't believe these great Bosna bakeries, coffee cafes and diners don't get more press and accolades.
Regarding the shuttered QT in Bevo, I think this is a case where heavy TIF and other tax incentives are warrented to remove the underground petrol tanks and offset any abatement costs. I'd love that site filled in with a new structure built to the sidewalk with parking in back.

Rick Bonasch said...

If Berix is the one with the beautiful stonework on the facade, then yes, it's the one.

I'm with you on the reuse of the site, and I suspect QT has already removed the underground storage tanks.

However, getting the nice streetfronting building like you describe will be tough if QT wants a big number for the land and building in place.

Here's a question for the Steve Pattersons of the world...

Maybe there's a way to add on to the existing building, building a forward addition on the site, preserving the old structure as part of the interior?

Most Bevo area properties do not have off-street parking.

Such an aggregation of construction periods has a European quality to it, fitting for our most active European atmosphere in St. Louis.

Urban Review said...

I've tried some of the Bosnian places a few times and the food has been good but all have them are so smoke filled I cannot go inside. I know bars that are less smokey.

The now closed BEVO QT is built so far to the rear of the site you'd need a quite large front building to encapsolate it. A new urban building could be rebuilt at the street (most likely they razed what we need to build back) and either the QT building remains or gets razed for off-street parking.

Given the slope of the site it would be interesting to see if someone could justify underground parking for a building above but given the land values in the area and most likely QTs high price for the property we will not see that happen.

stlmark said...

Steve is so correct in saying that Bosna joints are EXTREMELY smokey. I smoke too, but Eastern Europeans love to chain smoke. It is so intense that carry out is my only option. Grbic is the exception, it is a much bigger place, though.

Samuel said...

The smoking problem is a shame, will forever keep my asthmatic lungs away. Although eastern european food is some of the most underrated in the world IMHO. Again, my belief in restaurant smoking bans.