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New Brewery Improves Alley-Like Lucas Ave

July 18, 2013 Downtown, Featured, Local Business, Planning & Design, Retail 10 Comments

The two streets on either side of Washington Ave are basically named alleys: St. Charles St (south) and Lucas Ave (north). These may have had active businesses fronting onto them decades ago, but not so much anymore.

Alpha Brewing Co. on Lucas Ave between 14th-15th is making the back of a Washington Ave building lively.

Alpha Brewing Co doesn't look like much when closed.
Alpha Brewing Co doesn’t look like much when closed.
The doors roll up when they open, changing the feel the street
The doors roll up when they open, changing the feel the street
The patio and recessed glass wall are inviting
The patio and recessed glass wall are inviting
The patio space as seen from inside
The patio space as seen from inside

Kudos to Alpha Brewing Co for a well-designed space that makes a positive contribution to an otherwise dreary road. If you visit just ignore the trash dumpsters behind adjacent buildings.

— Steve Patterson

  • guest

    Do they make beer there?

    • JZ71

      Yes! Very good beer and a diverse, creative, changing selection!

  • JZ71

    Are these streets, functionally, alleys? If so, should we actually be encouraging retail businesses to open facing them? It’s not like that we don’t have any vacant storefronts facing “real” streets. Urban living includes deliveries and dumpsters. Alleys are great way to accommodate this. The alternative is your Portland picture from earlier in the week, with dumpsters on the sidewalks or, as in NYC, bags of trash on the sidewalks . . .

    • I don’t think anyone is actively encouraging it, except perhaps the owners of these deep buildings. But I wouldn’t discourage it either.

      • Mark

        …so if development on the alley-side of a building is allowed (not just encouraged), how would you propose the best way to maintain free access (as in ADA access) to a particular active storefront if the adjacent building operators are forced to place their dumpsters on the alley-side? They’re going to block either the “sidewalk” (if there is one), or the street portion of the alley. And will there be insane restrictions placed on dumpsters that are placed “too close” to open patios where food and beverages are served, in an attempt to isolate odors and rodents, flies and whatever? (As in the case of New Life vs Terra Cotta Lofts, it doesn’t appear that “I-WAS-THERE-FIRST” carries much weight in STL.) (I’m not fond of beer, but I did enjoy my initial lunch visit to Alpha.)

        • Mark

          ….and how will Alpha dispose of their trash and garbage? Place it round-back on Washington Avenue, or place it in plastic bags, later to be dropped off and deposited in one of the nearby neighborhood alley dumpsters, or in one of the private loft dumpsters? It may be that Alpha has plans to place a dumpster between Table #1 and Table #3. Or maybe their business generates no trash and garbage! (?)

  • Fozzie

    I can’t imagine a worse dining or drinking experience. That sucks.

    • samizdat

      Looks fine to me. The back of a brick building isn’t so bad, and it appears that there are at least views of street trees (and maybe Lucas Park itself?) across the alley.

      I wonder if the roll-up steel doors aid in decreasing security and insurance costs.

  • moe

    Well, no matter the plusses or minuses….it is unique. Diners would try it, but if the trash/odors/view aren’t complimentary, won’t return.

  • Mike

    A startup doing something nice and creative with an un-creative space? I can get behind that.

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