Right around the Christmas holiday we welcomed our two newest neighbors, Robust Wine Bar and Snarf’s. Here’s a little more about Robust.
Stanley and Arlene Browne opened Robust in September of 2007. They set out to create a space where people could enjoy good wine and good food in small plates. Besides being a place to enjoy great wine, the Brownes set up to create a place where novices could learn more about wine and those further along in their wine education could learn more and teach others. Robust does this in part through the Robust Factor rating system. The system rates the wines by their body types and then offers foods that each can be paired with. While the main focus at the bar is the wine, a variety of beers and cocktails are also offered.
Robust serves both small plates as well as larger sandwiches and entrees for both lunch and dinner. Separate menus are available for each on their website.
The MX location, at the corner of 7th and Washington is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. A Saturday and Sunday RoBrunch is not available yet, but is in the works. The Shoppe features all of the wines available on the menu at the bar for purchase by the bottle. Related accessories, apparel and books are also available. A private meeting room can hold up to 50 guests. It features a wireless audiovisual system perfect for giving presentations from laptops, MacBooks, or even iPads. Outlets are easily accessible throughout the bar for easily charging any of your electronic gadgets.
The City Museum is one of the coolest places in St. Louis for a plethora of reasons. One of those reasons is the annual Throw Pumpkins Off The Roof Day. Ryan and Miranda went to check out this event this year and brought along plenty of extra pumpkins. Check out the video. (Hint: It’s better with sound)
As of early next week, residents of The Laurel will be privy to a perk unique to the St. Louis apartment community. Enterprise Rent-A-Car and The Laurel have partnered together to place a Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle (EV) at the building primarily for use by residents as part of the WeCar car-sharing program.
The Volt will have preferential parking at the ChargePoint dual-port charging station located at 7th and Lucas adjacent to the building. The station, installed by local firm Microgrid Energy, is also available for public use.
Nicole Strand, Property Manager at The Laurel, had this to say in the press release:
“We are working with WeCar to bring an affordable transportation option to our residents, many of whom have moved here from other urban areas and appreciate the environmental advantages, convenience and economies of car sharing. This program meets the needs of urban dwellers who prefer car sharing and public transportation options over owning a car. In fact, we hope the program will help reduce our reliance on everyone having their own car and contribute to local sustainability efforts. “
WeCar by Enterprise offers its members around-the-clock access to hourly, daily and overnight rentals. The convenience of only paying for the vehicle when you need it is easily attained by using the stress-free online reservation system.
St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay applauded the arrival of the Volt and had this to say in the press release:
“Car sharing is important for creating a lower impact urban mobility system and we are delighted that Laurel Apartments has chosen to work with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which is committed to developing long-term transportation solutions and supporting a more sustainable future in their hometown of St, Louis and around the world.”
The Chevy Volt will be fully available for use beginning early next week. While this particular Chevy Volt is available to all registered WeCar members, residents of The Laurel Apartments will be given exclusive deals not available to all members. The hourly rent for the Volt will start at $8 per hour and that will include gas and insurance.
Today the Mercantile Exchange welcomes its fourth business to the district with the opening of Collective at MX. The Collective brings 25+ boutiques to downtown St.Louis in part of the building that formerly housed St. Louis Centre. Nicole Benoist, the former Style Editor at St. Louis Magazine and Founder of MiniPinkBook, serves as the Managing Curator.
The retailers that have signed on to be part of the Collective will be showcased in the nearly 4,000 square foot space in a customizable “mini-shop” format. The retail cooperative will feature a variety of unique offerings such as jewelry from Adam Foster, unique St. Louis gifts from Stl-Style, antiques from Roots, stylish home decor from White Rabbit, designer women’s resale from Women’s Closet Exchange and even candy from Oh Lolli Lolli Candy Shoppe.
Laurel residents will be some of the first people to peruse the Collective’s offerings when they attend a private showcase tonight at Collective at MX complete with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
The Color Run recently exploded through St. Louis, leaving behind a trail of pinks, greens, blues, purples, oranges and yellows throughout the streets of downtown as well as thousands of rainbow color stained t-shirts, socks, tennis shoes, headbands and of course, tutus, because you can’t participate in a color run without a tutu!
The Laurel had the pleasure of participating in this color extravaganza complete with powder bombs, music, free giveaways from Chevy and of course, the color caboose after-party.
The memories will last a lifetime, or at least until the color washes out of our socks. We can’t wait for next year!
Check out Team Laurel at the event:
After months of selling a dream and talking about all of the things that will eventually populate the Mercantile Exchange District, it is really feeling like things are rolling around here these days.
The first of several restaurants opened for business with Pi opening across the street in the MX Building last month. The space underwent a beautiful transformation led by the local architects at Space. In keeping with the “green” theme that is a central focus of the MX project, most of the seating and tables for Pi were crafted by local company Mwanzi using re-purposed shipping pallet wood. Space is also designing the Robust location that will be on our ground floor in the Laurel Building. Space recently tweeted an early conceptual rendering.
Traffic is picking up in the leasing office with the Summer months upon us. We recently moved in our ceremonial “100th Move-In”. You can check out the picture on our Facebook page. We had a large group of “horse-lovers” stay with us earlier in the year so, “technically” we are well past 100 move-ins, but we still decided to honor these guys with gift cards to four downtown restaurants; Pi, Bailey’s Range, Stefano’s and Mosaic.
Other developments are keeping the buzz going about the Mercantile Exchange.
More exciting things are in the works for the Mercantile Exchange. We’ll keep you posted.
105.7 The Point and the RFT are hosting the 2012 RFT Music Showcase in downtown St. Louis this Saturday, June 2nd. 79 bands, 12 hours of performances at 13 different downtown locations for only $10. And I have some good news for Wash Ave dwellers: this is not a street closure event. The festivities take place inside the bars and at an outdoor stage on 13th street.
I attended this event last year promoting The Laurel Apartments, who gave away a sweet Les Paul Collection Guitar. Lux from The Point was there announcing the bands at the outdoor stage, and there were several businesses giving away free stuff plus a free photo booth where you could get a great quality photo of yourself at the event. It was all really cool so hopefully they’ll have cool giveaways and fun stuff at this year’s event as well.
Ok, now for the important part…the music: The festivities begin at 2pm with Nite Owl performing at the outdoor stage on 13th and Washington. Then there are 12 Wash Ave restaurants/bars hosting bands all throughout the day. Lola is the first to begin, with Kenny DeShields performing at 3:15pm. There will literally be music playing until the bars close, which for some is at 1am and some not until 3am.
If you’re not into the music festival scene, steer clear of: Smash Bar, Lola, Sidebar, Rue 13, Lucas Park, Hair of the Dog, Rosalita’s, Flamingo Bowl, Copia, The Dubliner, Prime and Over/Under.
If you are, this is a really cool experience. First, you get to hit up 12 popular Wash Ave bars on a Saturday night, and only pay $10. And 2nd, the bands are all very different so you get to hear a very diverse musical showcase. From the popular local blues band, The Jeremiah Johnson Band (who performed at Bluesweek last weekend) performing at Lola at 7pm, to a popular Indie rock band, Sleepy Kitty (who generously approved their song Gimme a Chantz! for one of the Lovin the Lou contestant’s videos) playing at midnight at Lola, to the unique punk-jazz singer Ellen the Felon (she also performed last year at the RFT showcase) performing at Rosalita’s at 7:15pm, to the always popular Funk/Soul band, Dogtown Allstars, performing at the Dubliner at 1:30am, and just so many more great, unique bands. There is really something for everyone.
With 79 bands playing at 13 different locations all throughout the day, I’m going to recommend checking out the list to schedule your day of music madness.
Click on our affiliate links above to purchase music showcased at the event!
This Wednesday, the folks behind the Mercantile Exchange development are throwing a picnic and you are invited. The Plaza at U.S. Bank will play host to the MX Food Truck Picnic and Pick Your Cause Ping Pong Tournament presented by Sauce Magazine. Eight teams of downtown office workers will compete in a Ping Pong tournament for area charities while several food trucks will be on-hand at 7th and Locust to provide food for the participants and onlookers. Lashly Baer is a supporting sponsor. The team from The Laurel Apartments will be on-site helping run the event.
Bragging rights are not the only thing on the line in this tournament. The teams each picked a charity to represent and, the top three teams will have varying amounts of money donated to their charity in their name from the event sponsors. The top team will also receive two tickets to Friday’s Cardinals game.
With food trucks spending more and more of their time at the big offices away from downtown, make sure you come out on Wednesday. 11:30a-1:30p will be the “Lunch” portion of the event and 5p-7p will be the “Happy Hour” portion of the event.
Here is the lineup
While it’s just the Pi truck that will be at this event, the actual restaurant is slated to open towards the end of May at the corner of 6th and Washington in the MX District. In anticipation, they have donated two gift cards that will be awarded during the event.
Come out Wednesday for some great food with some great people. You may not see any ping pong on the level of this
but hey, the Blues are in the playoffs and the Cardinals’ home opener is Friday. Don’t Worry, Be Happy.
After welcoming our first residents on October 1, we finally got to hold our Grand Opening this week. It wasn’t just any Grand Opening gala either, we had a parade right through the heart of the Mercantile Exchange District.
In the spirit of full disclosure, the parade happened to be the Lumiere Place Light Up the Night Fat Tuesday Parade that concluded the 2012 Mardi Gras season in St. Louis. Also, we must point out that all of the “little things” meaning, everything that goes into setting up a parade through Downtown St. Louis, was done by the fine folks over at Mardi Gras Inc.
Our Grand Opening was held in the just-completed Laurel Gardens. Guests entered through the lobby; where they were greeted by our Concierge and offered wine from Robust Wine Bar, a future neighbor of ours in the Mercantile Exchange District. Several lovely ladies from Contemporary Productions were on hand to assist in the wine-pouring. They were then directed up to the 6th floor where they were proceeded out to the open-air Gardens in the center of the building.
Guests enjoyed beverages and Cajun food provided by our neighbors, the Embassy Suites. While indulging and mingling, guests enjoyed the sounds of Tom Hall, a local Blues musician.
As the start of the parade drew near, guests proceeded towards Washington Avenue. They passed an impressive display involving fire, also provided by Contemporary Productions. An area on Washington Avenue was roped off and carpeted for our guests to enjoy the parade from.
After the parade, guests were given coffee mugs filled with Mardi Gras-colored M&Ms as they waited for the valets to bring their cars around.
Photos from the evening:
Are you ready for more Mardi Gras fun? This year, the Fat Tuesday parade has a new route with a new attitude! The Parade Steps off at 7:00pm at the corner of Washington and Broadway, it will pass by the new Laurel Apartments and Embassy Suites Hotel, and proceeds west to 14th. Make sure to get down there early to take advantage of all the food and drink specials along Washington Avenue before and after the parade – several are listed below. See you there!
Tigin: Regular Happy Hour from 4 – 7 PM Pick 3 for $10 includes beer and appetizers
Embassy Suites: Outdoor Service at 7th & Washington from 5 – 7 PM, Hurricane & beer specials
Over/Under: Outdoor tent with live music from Matt Hill from 5 – 9 PM, $2 off drafts, wine and bottles and $5 hurricanes from 3 – 6:30 PM
Mosaic: Outdoor service with happy hour specials from 4 – 7 PM
Prime 1000: Outdoor service with drink and menu specials from 3 – 8 PM
Dubliner: Live Mardi Gras themed-music, menu and drink specials starting at 4 PM until close
Copia: All day specials, outdoor service including indoor patio with $6 hurricanes and $4 shots and beers.
Hair of the Dog: Best dive bar happy hour with Mardi Gras mystery special from 4 – 7 PM
Rosalita’s: All day outdoor tent with drink and food specials
Lucas Park Grille: Regular happy hour drink and menu specials from 5 – 7 PM
Side Bar: Outdoor service, Hurricane and menu specials from 3 – 7 PM
Flannery’s: All day drink and menu specials and parade watch party (get there early)
Lola: Outdoor tent with Mardi Gras specials inside and out
If all these specials on Washington Avenue aren’t enough, check out the OFFICIAL AFTER PARTY! at the Stadium Sports Bar and Grill in Lumière Place—Mardi Gras Inc’s official Fat Tuesday Post-Parade Mardi Party!
The revelry starts at 8:00 pm and there will be lots of food and beads and a VJ and a whole lotta celebrating!