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Take a walk around the Historic Soulard Neighborhood

Recently, Tom Gullickson, of 1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Cafe in Historic Soulard, took a walking tour of the neighborhood with Tony Boehm.

The video of the walk was posted on the 1860s Facebook page and embraced immediately. St. Louisans love their history and appreciate Tom’s knowledge of and passion for this St. Louis area gem.

This historic neighborhood is vibrant and thrives today for many reasons. The people who live and work in Historic Soulard take pride in their home. Soulard attracts friendly souls who are comfortable with themselves and make others feel the same. The neighborhood is oozing with acceptance and casualness. It’s evident as “Soulardians” drive their golf carts, take time to chat, and participate with neighbors and visitors alike in the many local events. Even with their fur-babies. The locals don’t walk the dog as a “chore”. They are on a stroll to experience the parks or stop by the outside tables for a drink and conversation with whomever comes by.

The Historic Soulard neighborhood stays strong with locally owned stores meeting the needs of both Soulardians and visitors.

The Porch is a go-to place in St. Louis for unique gifts, many that share our sense of humor! And it’s a relief to walk in an old-world hardware store, be greeted by a smiling face and asked if help is needed. Edele & Mertz Hardware doesn’t need a website, but their Yelp reviews are stellar! Soulard Farmers Market is the oldest continually operated farmer’s market west of the Mississippi River. It’s architecturally significant, as the design is based on a Renaissance era hospital in Florence, Italy. The Market is open year round from Wednesday to Saturday. While picking up produce on a Saturday morning, many have a tradition of stopping by Julia’s Market Café for a Bloody Mary! Around the corner there is a lovely flower shop, Riley’s Florist, to pick up flowers for window boxes. And residents like the reliable neighborhood grocery store, Vincent’s 12 St. Market, founded by one of thousands of early 20th century immigrants,. Fortunately, St. Louisans respect and embrace its 18th French style architecture. Soulard is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which helps protect its integrity and keep strict building standards for the oldest thriving residential neighborhood in St. Louis. There are several restored churches and brick homes built generations ago using old-world craftsmanship with (now) cost prohibitive materials. During the popular Eat St. Louis tour of the local dining scene, one learns why some houses have big granite blocks next to their curb. (Answer: To step in to the horse drawn carriage. How cool is that?)

Soulard is also attractive to both residents and visitors for its convenient location.

One mile south of Busch Stadium, within quiet tree-lined streets, there are beautifully maintained homes, apartments and lofts. Restaurants and businesses are mingled among them, just like over 100 years ago when everyday living was within walking distance. But right outside the neighborhood, there is easy access to the highways. Several local businesses help residents with options for living accommodations, including Soulard Market Lofts (previously a baby carriage factory), 1400 Russell, and Red Brick leasing. And there is a cozy short stay option called Geyer House.

The neighborhood thrives because of active resident and business participation.

Two active non-profit neighborhood organizations embody the pride of ownership and belonging in this community. The Soulard Business Association  and the Soulard Restoration Group work year round to support businesses and residents, as well as welcome visitors with open arms. Some events, promoted on their social media, include the Holiday Parlour Tour, Summer Concerts in the Park, June’s Sample Soulard Sunday and Oktoberfest. Both groups are very involved with the annual Mardi Gras events (stlmardigras.org). Enjoy the video and visit the Historic Soulard neighborhood and 1860s. There is plenty of free parking. Enjoy the Cajun/Creole-influenced menu, paying homage to the French Louisiana settlers. They also offer a stress-free complimentary shuttle downtown to Cardinals & Blues games. Visit the website for more information at 1860Saloon.com. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@1860soulard).