Top

blog

Stories

 

Salvage City: Fortune Teller Bar's Sam Coffey Gets a TV Show, But Is It Good for St. Louis?

Categories: News

If all this is starting to sound like trespassing and stealing, it is.

"That's the question everybody's asking," he says. "Is it legal to go into a building if you don't have permission? Is it legal to trespass? No. Is it legal to steal things? No."

But Coffey says he doesn't feel like a criminal.

"We have a different mission in mind, and that is to bring awareness to these buildings," he says.

kdhx.jpg
KDHX
Another salvaged creation at KDHX
See also: Best New Bar: The Fortune Teller Bar Expands, Develops New Liquor Lab and Kitchen

Coffey's show has already ruffled a few feathers. Even before it airs, promos paint River City as Detroit, Jr., abandoned by industry and left to drown in blight. St. Louisans worry portraying their city as mid-death rattle on national television is harmful to the city's image.

"I could not disagree more," he responds. "I think they're going to see St. Louis in a more positive light. When people who've never been to St. Louis see this show, I think we do a pretty good job conveying how beautiful the city really is."

For Coffey, that beauty comes from River City's urban decay -- not so much the aesthetics of the city's blighted buildings, but from the opportunity.

"I think people will see St. Louis is full of opportunities, not that St. Louis is full of decay."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


My Voice Nation Help
65 comments
Elizabethstl
Elizabethstl

Salvage City ratings were impressive!...So much that Discovery Channel is re-airing the show on SAT Feb 1st 10/9amC. Tune in! St. Louis Stand Up!

Rock Harris
Rock Harris

I'm torn on this one.... (Except for the bra thing. That I am in full agreement with.)

Maria Arcobasso
Maria Arcobasso

Legally they have to get permission. That shouldn't even be a topic.... It still shows what they do. Personally, I don't need any danger to watch. I love urban exploring, love taking photographs of what this city used to be. There are a lot of broken, forgotten buildings here! It doesn't mean that's ALL this city is, but a good part if the inner-city IS dying and falling down in front of our eyes. Most people don't care. I think these guys are great! I feel like I bring new life through photographs, they do it with disregarded, unimportant, and unwanted found items.

Martin Goebel
Martin Goebel

low level crafting of items post salvage... a classic rearranging of items. low brow results which comes across with method and final product. #craftsmenrollinghiseyes

Kelly Pickett
Kelly Pickett

That is a very petty thing to be picking at. Sounds like a lot of jealousy towards a fashionable woman who is beautiful and secure with herself.

Todd Alan
Todd Alan

Saving the glory? U saw them ripping items off the walls the in one promo caused an entire wall to collapse ( almost on top of one of the guys)

James Harris
James Harris

Clean buildings photoshopped out of the skyline, fake breaking and entering(he isn't hiding from cops ever, and the mayor's office approved the show), manufactured drama....just like any other dipshit "reality" show.

Amy Lampe
Amy Lampe

Regardless of how terrible all "reality shows" may be, Sam Coffey, Coolfire, and Discovery missed a HUGE opportunity here to sell St. Louis as the beauty she is. The intro is only highlights our decay when it COULD HAVE shown all of our beautiful intact architecture and neighborhoods... then added that we have a dark underbelly of abandoned properties. There is nothing in this show that makes STL look like it's worth visiting. Sad.

MiMi Brown
MiMi Brown

I think it's hilarious that now all of a sudden people wanna act like they care about urban decay or abandoned buildings in the city of St. Louis. Shout out to @salvagecity for getting the conversation started.

Maria Arcobasso
Maria Arcobasso

Seriously!? There are way too many beautiful buildings left to decay in our city. These guys go in and repurpose what would be destroyed or forgotten. I take pictures of these buildings and try to imagine them in their prime. I think it's great that they're saving a part of that glory. St. Louis isn't all delapatated, but a good portion of the intercity is. Either you're blind or have never even driven through it. I'm in love with these old ghost building and no body cares at all about them or what they used to be..well until now. Lol funny how that works.

Maria Arcobasso
Maria Arcobasso

Bras suck. Leave her alone. I hope the show gets picked up, I love it!

Jeremiah Sampo
Jeremiah Sampo

The other side of the coin is people who already break into abandoned houses and buildings to steal the copper pipes and fittings will rationalize that is the same as this.

Bryan H Roberts
Bryan H Roberts

If ya got em, flaunt em!! Keep up the good work, the show is great!

WILS0N
WILS0N

please don't confuse this with urban exjploring

Kelly Bowers
Kelly Bowers

Who the hell would complain about that???

Kimberly Kelly
Kimberly Kelly

Some people will find anything to complain about.

Todd Alan
Todd Alan

This show is ridiculous. They either need to admit the whole shows premise is a fraud that they cut off locks, kick down doors, run from police and steal items or need to be arrested for trafficking in stolen property

Anne Jansen
Anne Jansen

Ill stick with American Pickers, how about you all?

cheryl
cheryl

Thought it was interesting..liked seen the peoples hospital. Didnt now anything about it till the show and lived in stl all my life. I knew about the crystal city cave. Never been down there,but seen the bridge. I dont think I would have drove crossed with that big truck and boat. I would watch it again. As for illegal,no worse than moonshiners.


hoffmannlawfirm
hoffmannlawfirm

This television show is the best.  The premise is interesting.  The places they go into or attention to get to are dangerous as can be.  They find things I would not think are any good but turn them into artwork.  Trotter and Coffey are so funny. Coffey is nutz.  Mia is hot.  Trotter keep as leash on the dog and another on Coffey because he is crazy/funny.

Shawn Smith
Shawn Smith

Noe is right, urban explorers will be wrongly categorized as vandals and looters, when that couldn't be further from the truth. Mr. Coffey and crew have taken things that were intentionally left behind by those that came before them...

Wynn Planer
Wynn Planer

so why break into an old building to loot when you can break into someones house and gets cool stuffs? raise those kiddies right...

clockwork_god
clockwork_god

Here is the alderman for Cherokee streets email, Please write him and tell him we would like this group from removed and that we don't need thieves in our ward, we have enough already.   schmidc@stlouis-mo.gov

Ryan Gosa
Ryan Gosa

This show has made the city look horrible it's time for the mayor to go as with his whole office

Daniel Sexauer
Daniel Sexauer

Timothy those crimes directly hurt other people whereas Coffey doesn't. You don't live even live in STL according to your profile

Daniel Sexauer
Daniel Sexauer

Btw Wallace crime has decreased 46% since 2006. Probably a good thing you left though.

Daniel Sexauer
Daniel Sexauer

If you get robbed in u city during the daytime you're probably an idiot

Noe Won
Noe Won

As a person who enters such properties for photographic purposes only, this show is a perfect example of how not to explore. "Take only photographs, leave only footprints."

Almas Farmhouseantiques
Almas Farmhouseantiques

The City approved this show and the break ins are staged and it is city owned property. I spoke with the mayors office about this. It is disgusting glorifying looting in the name of art. My question is what bone head at the City thought this would be good for the image of the City of St. Louis?? First teaching kids to break into buildings second telling the world St Louis is in Decay when it is not. We are restoring and rebuilding our city even the arch is getting a facelift. Looks like we need a new Mayor or someone in the Mayors office with some common sense.

Wallace Sara
Wallace Sara

hahahah when has it NOT looked like that? Downtown is awful w riff raff and u cant go down there at nite to the clubs or bars without getting car jacked. You cant go to U City even during the day without getting robbed. If you sit at any patio dining watch your purse and cell phones they love to walk by and causally steal them off your table. All reasons as to why I moved last year. People need to be more realistic about STL. Its one thing to be proud but you have to admit there is alot of crime. The suburbs are about the only places u can go now without dealing w riff raff and even now they are having home break ins. All big cities have crime though unless you move where crime is low.

Architect
Architect

I cant believe this guy is stealing and pawning off pieces of the city's history on TV and getting away with it. Unbelievable.

suetoo
suetoo

There's already a problem with brick theft and copper theft.  We don't need this.

Timothy L Hughes
Timothy L Hughes

wow admits he is in and out before the cops get there..maybe discovry can air some other shows hmmm..how to rape and get away,the ABC's of car jackin or may be knock out game made easy..

Shannon Thayer Guinn
Shannon Thayer Guinn

The city is what it is. It's no secret that parts of downtown St Louis is a hell hole, it's pretty sad. But there is hope, always....

asouthcitygem
asouthcitygem

Jeeze, this guy will do ANYTHING to get on TV, won't he? This may be the first show to actually get airtime, but it's not the first one he's tried to make. Remember when they basically shut down a section of Cherokee on a weekend, when those businesses make most of their money, to film some self serving bull about bbq? And they were trying to add an element of 'the best bar ever' with their hot tub that they bought from The Livery like a day before and they couldn't even get to work?

It's a fun bar, but for crying out loud, the owners need to calm down on trying to be local celebrities.

Jesse Plan
Jesse Plan

Because it is an urban hell hole

robert_s_weiman
robert_s_weiman

I got involved with this show very very late in the process. My company had already conducted a grueling 12 hour outdoor auction. When we got home the phone rang and a producer was on the other end putting a show together for the Discovery Channell. They had already filmed all the other episodes, and were scheduled to film the finale. However the auctioneer was a no show. They were in big trouble.

They made fantastic items out of things that would have turned into dust, and were well on their way. I wrote about the auction on my website.. 
http://www.auctionstlouis.com/2013/12/18/salvage-city-st-louis-and-mound-city/

cherokeeresident
cherokeeresident

@asouthcitygem shut down cherokee?  they just had the sidewalk in front of their bar blocked off, and the permits to do it.  I walked through accidentally and they just asked me to not be in the way when they're filming.  And I thought they said the hot tub was from this show.  Sounds like you're jealous of their free publicity and looking for shit to complain about

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...