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.
A macaroni and cheese bar and buffalo sliders were among the food catered by the Embassy Suites team. A dessert bar was provided by The Laurel staff with the help of a few residents.
Residents were entertained throughout the evening by DJ Moody and Goodeye Photoshare was on hand to capture the moments.
Here is a sampling of the pictures.
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)
Residents gathered last night in the community room for the “Hot Chocolate and Desserts” party. The Laurel contracted with the Embassy Suites to provide a hot chocolate bar, complete with handmade whipped cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur and marshmallows.
Residents brought desserts ranging from spiced cake balls to s’more shots to pumpkin cheesecake dip.
Recipes will be posted when available. Until then, enjoy these pictures.
Over the weekend Laurel residents assembled in the building’s community room for camaraderie, drinks and chili. Seven residents entered their dishes in the competition to win money off their December rent. A wide range of tastes were represented from “Tex Mex” to “Hominy White Bean” to “Cheesy Meaty”. One resident baked a Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake for the event and another made a pumpkin and whipped cream pie. Most of the residents also tasted “Pumpkin Chili” for the first time at the event. The Laurel Leasing Staff provided drinks for Chili Cook-Off and announced at the event that all entrants would receive money off their December rent.
A couple of the chili recipes are below.
Corbin’s Chili Recipe
1 pound ground beef (chuck)
1 chopped whole white onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
about 3 tablespoons chili powder
about 1 teaspoon cumin
1-2 bay leafs
about 1 and half cloves of minced garlic
3-4 jalapeño peppers chopped
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of rinsed pinto beans
1 can of rinsed black beans
1 can of rinsed red beans
dash of salt and pepper
Sauté and brown the ground beef with the chopped onion and bell pepper for 5 minutes.
Add the rest of ingredients (except the beans) and simmer 1-2 hours.
Add the beans at the end, 30 minutes prior to eating.
Hominy White Bean Chili
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:
For immediate release: July 27, 2012
Amir Kurtovic’s coverage provides a positive update on The Laurel Apartments and the downtown apartment market and gives an update on MX retail tenants open and under construction.
St. Louis, MO – For a new apartment building, the first goal is always to fill it up. But that shouldn’t be a problem for the Laurel building, part of Amos Harris’ $250 million Mercantile Exchange development. Demand for apartments has been so good, in fact, that Harris has been able to raise prices less than a year after starting the leasing process.
“We are killing it with the apartments,” Harris said. “When we opened up our preleasing, we were leasing at $1.20 per square foot. We are now leasing at $1.34 per foot, which is huge. We’re talking about a more than 10 percent increase in the last six months.”
About 70 percent of the 205 one- and two-bedroom apartments are leased, said Harris, who is president of Brady Capital and a principal of Spinnaker St. Louis. The grand opening of the Laurel Apartments was in February and Harris said he could see rents rising to about $1.45 to $1.50 per square foot by next year.
The strong performance was a surprise to Harris. The Laurel Apartments were still under construction when Steve Smith’s 230-unit Park Pacific development opened.
“I was right there with everybody else in thinking that there were too many apartments coming on the market at the same time, but that didn’t turn out to be the case,” Harris said.
Deborah Done, president of locally owned rental agency Apartment Search, said there is a lot of demand for the Laurel Apartments because of their location and amenities.“Overall, the downtown market is strong and availability it tight,” she said. “Most of the properties are bringing their rents back up.” Done estimates that average rental price for downtown apartments have increased about 5 percent in the last six months.
Strong apartment leases are not the only good news coming out of the MX development. Harris said there is a lot of interest for the planned National Blues Museum at the MX and a number of supporters have shown interest in helping to raise the $6.5 million necessary to make the project a reality. About half of the $23 million price tag for the museum has been secured in New Markets Tax Credits.
The streetscape around the MX development could also soon get a facelift. The city of St. Louis has submitted an application to the East-West Gateway Council of Government for a $2 million grant that would fund improvements to sidewalks, lighting and decorations on Washington Avenue, from 7th Street to Memorial Drive. Harris said the $2 million grant required a $400,000 match, which the city was not able to provide. Instead, Spinnaker and Stifel Financial Corp. have agreed to split the match, Harris said. Stifel bought its headquarter building at 501 N. Broadway, adjacent to the MX development, last August for $20 million.
The 150,000 square feet of commercial space at the MX are about 60 percent leased so far, Harris said. On the restaurants and retail side of the MX, Pi Pizzeria at the corner of Sixth Street and Washington Avenue is already open and construction is under way for several other projects, including St. Louis Cinema’s three-screen MX Movies theater slated for October. Also under construction is the Collective at MX, a 3,700-square-foot fashion co-op that will house mini boutiques.
Eric Heckman, owner of Tani Sushi Bistro in Clayton, will also be one of the commercial tenants at the MX. Construction for his Takaya New Asian restaurant is under way and should be complete by late summer. The 3,300-square-foot restaurant will seat 120 and Heckman has projected sales of $1.5 million within three years. Harris said he is also in discussions with several companies about putting in an 8,600-square-foot fitness center. The fitness center would include steam rooms, saunas and cater to residents and workers in the surrounding office buildings.
Mack Bradley, StandPoint Public Affairs
314-324-8567 | email@example.com
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.