Now, Lupe has heard that Trader Joe's has looked at the old Blockbuster site. That would be perfect!
There are business owners in the Loop that would fight it. They say any store that sells package liquor will contribute to people drinking alcohol and getting drunk in the Loop! What they really mean is that people will be getting drunk but not buying liquour from one of the many bars on the street. The Loop promotes and paves the way for intoxication-- including millions for a planned trolley to take drunken Loop goers to the metro, so they don't have to drive home!
So Lupe's idea, for anyone that is interested, is to open a neighbourhood Co-op. (You don't have to include Lupe, except to give her a free membership!) The fee would be small for anyone that lived in the area-- perhaps slightly higher cost for Parkview residents (they can afford the higher cost, and they are less likely to use the Co-op) and Wash U students in student housing (ditto and they aren't really "residents").
You could purchase some items without being a member, but only members could purchase alcohol. Members, in fact, could order anything and pick it up at the Co-op. (Possibly there could be a delivery service as well.) Alcohol could be ordered, but it would not be sold to the public or on display.
It would be nice if the Co-op had local produce when the Market in the Loop isn't open. Fresh local, organic dairy would be good as well. Fresh, local, organic everything would be fabulous. And if the Co-op was set up properly, some of the farmers (like Earthdance) that are already supplying the more conscientious restaurants could come on board, as well. (Riddles is particularly well known for this. Also the Delmar Lounge. )
Lupe is "French-obsessed" as any regular reader of this blog knows, but the comparison to a Parisian neighborhood grocer is not completely out of left field. Lupe remembers a wonderful little market with a rotisserie and freshly made yogurt (in a porcelain cups that had to be returned the next day) in the 1st arondissment a few blocks from the Champs Elysees. Right next door was a bakery and patisserie. *sigh*...
The Co-op would not require the same start up money as a grocery or convenience store, and wouldn't even require a storefront! Although customer pickups, and walk-ins, would benefit from a storefront. A storefront would also support something like a salad, soup, and juice bar, and/or deli sandwiches.
If anyone is interested in doing this, feel free to contact Lupe. She is looking into this pretty thoroughly. The East Loop, under St. Louis governance, would be better. Also fewer residents would be able to protest it, as most East Loop properties aren't as near residential neighborhoods like Parkview, that would block the business from opening.
See you in the Loop!!!
Edit/PS-- Does anyone remember the deli that used to be where Pizazz is now? They always had a barrel of big pickles. Lupe thinks they were a quarter. The Co-op should have big pickles in barrel. Let's bring back 'em back!