While Cherokee Avenue in the Benton Park and Benton Park West neighborhoods as had its share of troubles in the past few years, there is no doubt that the overall outlook has looked continually positive. I’ve posted about Cherokee locations such as The Stable and Foam, but it looks like the whole area is getting a pat of the back. This time from the Riverfront Times in their Annual “Best of” list.
Cherokee was voted as “The Best Mile of St. Louis” by RFT readers in their annual list. Here is what they had to say:
If you had a nickel for every stretch of St. Louis where you could snack on an authentic taqueria-style taco between taking in a contemporary art show and shopping for a 1930s china pattern just like your grandmother had…well, you would be only five cents richer, because nothing else in St. Louis resembles Cherokee Street between South Compton and Lemp avenues. You want cutting-edge art, theater, crafts and music? Check out the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, the Tin Ceiling Theater, Firecracker Press and Apop Records. What about real-deal Mexican grub? Check: There are several blocks of Mexican bakeries, taquerias, restaurants and grocery stores. Partake of anarchist baked goods at Black Bear Bakery or vegetarian fare at the funky Shangri-La Diner; enjoy a pint at the old-school O’Malley’s Irish Pub or at the brand-new Stable, a restaurant and distillery in the old Lemp stables. And of course you can shop for antiques: from expensive to kitschy and everything in between. Cherokee might not be perfect — a few blocks are less than stunning — but it is an inspiring example of a diverse, ongoing urban renewal.
Not only was the area collectively celebrated this year, but 5 indivdual establishments made the list:
- Best Chocolate – Kakao Chocolate
- Best Coffeehouse – Mississippi Mud House
- Best musical instrument store – Saxquest
- Best Mexican Market – Carniceria Latino Americana
- Best underground club – Camp Concentration at Apop Records
Congrats to everyone along Cherokee and thanks for investing in this long too neglected area. If you want to check out the full Best of 2008 list, head of to the RIverfront Times site.