Demolished: Five St. Louis Restaurants That Are No More

Categories: List Mania!

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Laura Ann Miller
Del Taco: Set to join Noah's Ark and the Parkmoor?
​We're all abuzz about the possible demolition of the Googie-style Del Taco on Grand, enough to merit Facebook pages and news stories about how outraged -- outraged! -- we are as a city.

Were we equally outraged when these other local restaurants lost their buildings in the name of progress?

The Parkmoor, 1999: The Richmond Heights diner closed in 1999 after 70 years in business, to make room for a much-needed Walgreens across the street from the Esquire theater. Because there probably wasn't a Walgreens within two whole miles.

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Image via
Parkmoor no more.

The Diamonds Restaurant, 2003: On the outskirts of St. Louis County, where the Mother Road once ran, the Diamonds Restaurant once bragged that it was the world's largest roadside restaurant. When Route 66 was replaced with I-44 in 1967, the Diamonds was no longer visible from the highway. The restaurant moved to a new building near the interstate, and the streamlined postwar building became Tri-Country Restaurant and Truck Stop, which closed in 2003. The building remains -- as dilapidated storage.

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Route 66 University
Today? A Diamond in the rough -- really rough.

Noah's Ark, 2000: Once the tourist attraction in St. Charles, Noah's Ark Restaurant was just that -- an ark, parked on land not far from the Missouri River. Fiberglass animals greeted guests as they pulled into the parking lot for their novelty dining adventure. But novelty restaurants fell out of style (yes, even in Missouri), and the ark closed in 2000. Underground Ozarks broke into the abandoned ark in 2006 and documented the doomed ship. A year later it was demolished while onlookers cheered, excited for the condos, stores and sports facilities that still haven't appeared on the spot.




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21 comments
huangbrong
huangbrong

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SCCMSTL
SCCMSTL

There was also a Parkmoor at Manchester and Lindberg.  It rivaled Steak 'N' Shake as a teen hangout in the 60's.  A Chuck-A-Berger on Watson Road in Crestwood.  A Henry's across from Crestwood Plaza, and the old Medarts where Cheshire Inn was/is to be.  A Schneindhorsts on Hampton Avenue, and what about the Toddle Houses?

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

Isn't the RFT now owned by the Village voice? That might explain why some of the RFT writers have to be snarky a-holes. After all, they would be so much more worldly than us yahoos that live here in flyover country. They can turn up their noses and scoff at our version of interesting historic architecture until they possible land a job in a bigger market. Kind of like that smug ass Ian Froeb who takes every opportunity to let us rubes know that he hates provel cheese (I hate it as well, but I choose to not be an ass about that since there are more important things to be an ass over).

JRK
JRK

Noah's Ark and Ball Park Village, have a lot in common, they may sit on different MO rivers, but the vision and promises of them becoming a reality have yet to be done. 

MidwestMentality.com
MidwestMentality.com

I'm really not much of a fan of the RFT 'journalists' mocking those of us who do care. I guess it has nothing better to do than rattle the cages of the few left who still read their paper. If I ever invest in a porn site, I'll be sure to consult you for advertisement rates. Otherwise, I'll stick to less satire-inspired editorials.

Eric
Eric

"The Parkmoor, 1999: The Richmond Heights diner closed in 1999 after 70 years in business, to make room for a much-needed Walgreens across the street from the Esquire theater. Because there probably wasn't a Walgreens within two whole miles."There was already a Walgreens almost within eyeshot of the Parkmoor and probably under 5 minutes' walking distance -- it was between Starr's and Harvest. If I'm not mistaken, the old Walgreens building is still empty. I doubt that the larger, newer one has anything that I ever needed that the old one didn't, except that this one's parking lot is a lot trickier to get into. Thanks, national conglomerate!Speaking of national conglomerates all up ins in STL territory, I definitely ate at that riverboat McDonald's. Probably about as much fun as could be possible eating at a McDonald's.

Mscheaf
Mscheaf

So what is your point exactly rft? That we should not care about this building because according to you not enough people cared abnout these others. Sorry there wass no facebook page back then considering, you know, it wasn't around...

Brutus_Maximus
Brutus_Maximus

Maybe they'll hire the firm that designed those buildings that took the place of the Arena. You know, the ones that are so bland that you can't tell if you're in StL, Wichita, or Naperville? I applaud the region's efforts to erase any trace of history or architectural distinction. Eventually the entire metro area will be one vast expanse of McMansions, duplexes, strip malls, and glass office blocks. The sooner the better, I say.

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Its sad and I remember eating at every one of these places, except the Robert E Lee.  Now the riverfront is a joke and was embarrassed  after bringing friends up from Florida to show them that vast expanse of nothing.Used to eat at Diamonds once a month or so when my family took road trips when I was a kid.   They had some of the oddest tourist trap stuff there.But St Louis loves to kill off its history.  Soon it will be just like South Florida, a place with no history left.

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

Call it sacrilege, and Walgreen's was hardly necessary, but the Parkmoor was terrible, both food and service.  Yes, it was old and part of the STL landscape, but it was hardly a loss from the restaurant scene.

Doug
Doug

Despite your attempts to make a strawman argument, the RFT writers live in St. Louis (flyover country). I'm guessing some like provel cheese.

wolber
wolber

Actually, there was a Walgreens immediately adjacent to the Parkmoor. It was considered undesirable though, since the building was from the 1970s and didn't have direct access from Big Bend, just Clayton Rd. Walgreens development strategy relies on their stores being at intersections in order to be more easily accessed by America's rapidly aging population, as well as lazy fatasses.

jason
jason

Your memory is very incorrect. Enjoy your Walgreens. Sad. 

ihatesuburbs
ihatesuburbs

Dude, stuff it. How is that for a 'strawman argument'? I said SOME of the writers. It is no secret that just because they write for the RFT that they are somehow required to be permanent residents here, so I have no doubt that there are some who can't stand living here. Judging from Mr. Food and his constant declarations that St. Louisan's have no taste because they like provel (which I AGREE is garbage, I just don't write that every time I sit and type) himself he is one. As others here have pointed out, I get the sense that some of these writers think that this situation is a big fucking joke to laugh about in their shitty little 'news' stories. The way I see it is that for the first time in recent memory people in this city AND region are standing up for their fucking unique architecture and history. It's not a fucking joke, it's about fucking time!

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

One thing the Del Taco developer wants that Walgreens did not seek---TIF or some other tax subsidy mechanism to construct its building.  So St. Louis is losing some unique architecture AND tax dollars.

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