ST. LOUIS, MO - Take a closer look at one of St. Louis’ most dynamic and buzz-worthy neighborhoods. Standing nearly a mile along Manchester Avenue between Kingshighway and Vandeventer is a thriving central district called The Grove.
In the late 19th century, The Grove was more commonly known as the Manchester Strip, a retail drag that served the working-class population of Forest Park Southeast. It later grew into a commercial district in the 1950s and got dubbed the Adam’s Grove but soon experienced a decline in business. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the LGBTQ+ community invested in the area, starting with the Attitudes Night Club, as it became the turning point into becoming the premier entertainment district it is known to be today.
The Grove Community Improvement District (CID) was formed in 2009 in hopes of supporting local businesses, beautifying the neighborhood, and improving safety for all visitors, locals, and businesses. It is run by an 11-member Board of Directors ranging from property owners to business owners operating within the district, with programs surrounding improvements and innovation to help businesses thrive. The CID hosts more than 50 businesses and is a must-see when you visit the area.
They didn't stop there, the community around The Grove also pays attention to climate change and how they can continue to improve businesses while creating a more sustainable environment. Thus, the community established the Green Dining Alliance, a restaurant sustainability certification program of earth365. It is the community’s commitment to execute more sustainable operations and food sourcing by completing on-site audits and setting personalized goals with each member.
When you come to visit, you can enjoy a nice stroll while appreciating the many murals splattered all over the neighborhood. When you’re famished, have a go at their many restaurants and bars, such as Chao Baan, Sameem Afghan Restaurant, Handle Bar, Urban Research Brewery, Pie Guy Pizza, and more. You can even stop by the City Boutique or Melroys for a quick shopping trip and maybe even take a look at the famous Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery & Bierhall, aka the UCBC, for an amazing European-inspired cuisine and craft beers made on-site. It’s never a boring day at The Grove!
And if you live somewhere a bit far away, then maybe consider visiting the district for their annual event, Grove Fest, in October. Grove Fest is a street festival that takes place on the first Saturday of October. It’s a free event that’s packed with hundreds of events: food vendors from local restaurants, street performances, family-friendly areas, and stage performances featuring many local artists.
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