Visit Moonrise Hotel and Delmar Loop to step back in time

Moonrise Hotel is almost on Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, MO

Moonrise Hotel is almost on Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, MO

Stepping into Moonrise Hotel on St. Louis’ famed Delmar Loop is almost like taking a time machine back to the mid1900’s.

Almost is because some of the furniture is 1950’s modern with a 2009 design twist and the TV’s, bedding and baths are definitely 21st century.

The outside favors art deco, except the revolving moon on top which is timeless.

But whether you stay here or not, “do” the street.

You are on Delmar Loop, a formerly decaying neighborhood whose vitality today is thanks to Joe Edwards, a St. Louis collector with a passion for memorabilia and saving old buildings.

Delmar Loop is a happening place near Washington University

Delmar Loop is a happening place near Washington University

Yes Moonrise is new, but go down to the Tivoli Movie Theatre, a vintage mid-1920’s structure Edwards saved and has been bringing back to life. The structure, itself is worth a look but you will stay for the original movie posters and movie memorabilia.

Look down the street from the hotel for Edwards’ Blueberry Hill, a popular restaurant and music club where Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of famer Chuck Berry draws a crowd once a month.

The only problem about going inside is deciding where to look first. Diners can be excused for letting their food grow cold as they check out the juke boxes, signed celebrity photos, Beatles stuff, toys and the Elvis Room.

People go to the Blueberry Hill restaurant on a date or a business meeting but end up talking about the photos.

People go to the Blueberry Hill restaurant on a date or a business meeting but end up talking about the photos.

Outside the restaurant, look on the sidewalk for St. Louis’ Walk of Fame stars. “ I thought of doing something in a building on the street but the sidewalk is better. People can see the names and read about the people at all hours, 24/7,” says Edwards.

Also stop and read the planet signs that are just fun to follow when walking Delmar Loop.

As to why the loop?  “There used to be trolley tracks here. The trolley would come up this far and then loop back,” he says. Edwards has been working on bringing back the trolley for the past four years. He expects it be reality for residents and visitors in two years.

But before that happens he is excited about an eight foot, bronze  statue of Chuck Berry that will be erected early 2011 in the plaza-park area currently being developed next to Fitz, a home brewed root beer spot across from Blueberry Hill. “It will be St. Louis’ most famous statue,” says Edwards .

Back at the hotel, stop next door at Pin Up. Edwards’ collection of pin-ups decorate the walls. But this is the place to find a fine martini and maybe even bowl a line. A few steps further down is the Pageant, a concert nightclub favored by indie bands.

A triple theme of outer space, fifties furniture and juke box welcome visitors to Eclipse, the Moonrise restaurant

A triple theme of outer space, fifties furniture and juke box welcome visitors to Eclipse, the Moonrise restaurant

Eclipse, the restaurant hotel, has a fine culinary reputation and is filled with outer space memorabilia. but guests also should cross the street for deep dish pizza at Pi where it seems Gino’s East has met Lou Malnoti’s.

If the name Pi sounds familiar it is because Chicago resident President Obama liked the pizza there so much he had the chef do a party at his other home, the White House.

As to who stays at Moonrise, you will find a mix of parents and professionals visiting Washington University, tourists and business people. And also this traveler, back to visit Delmar Loop.

Read more about the Delmar Loop

Moonrise Hotel is at 6177 Delmar In the Loop, St. Louis, MO 63112, 314-721-1111

Photos by Jodie Jacobs

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