Part of any city's history is its stock of local businesses--the kind that have remained planted despite decades of, for lack of a more colorful yet still bi-directional word, change.
St. Louis has plenty of ancient businesses still hanging on. Sadly, Hamilton Jewelers, formerly located downtown, is no longer one of them.
Can you help me expand my list? It doesn't even attempt to be exhaustive. Just a couple that came to my head and still more that I found through Googling something to the effect of "old" or "historic businesses in St. Louis"...
Name / Date / Current Neighborhood (may not be original)
John Baumann Safe Company / 1843 / Midtown on Locust
A.E. Schmidt Billiards Company / 1850 / The Patch (720 Koeln)
Luytie's Pharmacal Company / 1853 / Central West End (4200 Laclede)*
Note from reader: This business closed in 2001 and was turned into condos in 2004.
Hoffmeister Funeral Company / 1858 / Not sure where they're based currently...
South Public Super Market / 1870 / The Patch (7701 S. Broadway)
Fehlig Brothers Box and Lumber Co. / 1873 / Carr Square (1909 Cole)*
Carondelet Bakery / 1875 / The Patch (7726 Virginia)
Marx Hardware and Paint Company / 1875 (1891 at current location / Old North St. Louis (2501 North 14th)*
Hopmann Cornice Company / 1883 / St. Louis Place (2573 Benton Street)*
Rathbone Hardware / 1885 / The Patch (7625 S. Broadway)
Levine Hats / 1887 (at 923 Washington) / Garment District (1416 Washington Since 1987)*
Southern Commercial Bank / 1891 / Carondelet (7201 S. Broadway)
New Market Hardware / 1910 / Central West End (4064 Laclede Ave)*
Crown Candy Kitchen / 1913 / Old North St. Louis (1401 Saint Louis Ave.)
Gioia's Deli / 1918 / The Hill (1934 Macklind)
Gus' Pretzels / 1920 / Benton Park (1820 Lemp)^
The Hi-Pointe Theater / 1922 / Hi-Pointe (1005 McCausland)
Merb's Candies / circa 1930 / Dutchtown (4000 S. Grand)^
Trader Bob's Tattooing / 1930s / Fox Park (2529 S. Jefferson)
Dad's Cookie Company / 1938 / Dutchtown South (3854 Louisiana)^
Note: This one is interesting. This was actually a national franchise (I never knew) with over a dozen location in major cities across the country. Dad's St. Louis is the only one remaining as an independent business. All others have been closed or bought up by a larger company.
Globe Drugs Stores / 1939 / Gravois Park (2626 Cherokee)^
As I said, please help me add to my list! I'll update the post and give you credit.
UPDATE - Reader Submissions
* = Contributed by Andrew Faulkner. Read his excellent blog, Exquisite Struggle, here.
^ = Contributed by Toby Weiss. She, too, has an excellent blog, B.E.L.T..
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