In St. Louis, you can see the handiwork of real estate developer and architect Jassen Johnson most notably in the city’s Midtown Alley neighborhood, along Locust and Olive Street just east of St. Louis University. Working with a complex network of investors, lenders, tenants, clients, designers and others, Johnson has been determined to transform the area into a self-sustaining neighborhood for over a decade. He also founded his own development firm, Renaissance Development Associates, in 2004.

Husband-and-wife duo Cornell and Jamila Boone want to give customers options at their brand-new fast-casual restaurant, the Corner Street Food.

"We believe Locust Street in Midtown looks a lot like Maryland and McPherson Avenue did when we moved into the Central West End, fifteen years ago," Zach Gzehoviak, Brennan's marketing and events manager, explains. 

Brennan's to Open Second Location in Midtown

St. Louis Magazine | May 17, 2018

The new outpost on Locust will be a bar and restaurant, as well as a shared work and event space.

New Boutique Opens in Midtown 

Caradise Found Blog | April 23, 2018

Every gal with an unruly shopping habit can relate to the story of Sarah-Marie Land, owner of the new St. Louis boutique, The Golden Fig, a curated collection of new and pre-loved women’s clothing. Situated on the corner of Olive and N. Cardinal, Land opened The Golden Fig to give credence and purpose to her shopping habit, specifically her knack for finding incredible deals.

The first thing you should probably know about Aromas Restaurant is that it is most decidedly not the Rustic Goat, the wild (and wildly popular) nightclub that flourished on site before running into trouble with the city. 

Wellspent Brewing Company Opens in Midtown

KSDK Show Me St. Louis | March 13, 2019

Kyle Kohlmorgen, brewer/owner, said, "We focus on what we call yeast driven beer. Beer that is inspired by our trip to Brussels."

Wellspent Brewing Co. Opens in Midtown 

Riverfront Times | March 2, 2018

Wellspent Brewing Co., the new brewery and tap room that opens today in Midtown, isn't trying to offer something for everyone. There is no liquor here and no wine. There is not, at this point, even food. But what there is will delight beer drinkers — a light-filled space, a big patio, and several taps of Wellspent's "yeast-driven beer."

Turn to Add Dinner Service

Riverfront Times | February 9, 2018

For anyone who has ever lamented the lack of dinner options in the city's theater district, there is reason to celebrate: Turn chef David Kirkland's restaurant located inside the .ZACK building, is opening for dinner. Its first evening service will be March 1. 

Your Guide to 7 New St. Louis Breweries

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | January 25, 2018

Since opening in July, Center Ice has become a prime pregame hangout for Blues fans. Before a Saturday home game, Albers estimates the brewery’s shuttle service will make five or six runs to Scottrade Center, ferrying 15 to 20 customers each time.

Let's Brunch, St. Louis

Riverfront Times | January 25, 2018

David Kirkland's Turn is featured in RFT's January 2018 Brunch issue.

Pizza Returns to Midtown with Hugo's Pizzeria

St. Louis Mag | January 18, 2018

Pizza is back in the space that once housed The Good Pie, a stone’s throw from restaurateurs Dave and Kara Bailey’s Small Batch in Midtown. Named for their son, Hugo’s Pizzeria looks deceptively simple. Well-designed lighting and clean lines showcase the graphics and art, including a Mel Meyer piece by the front door and a striking grouping high above the bar.

Go east for New Year's at Small Batch with a four-course dinner featuring unique twists on traditional Chinese New Year dishes, with ingredients signifying good luck, wealth, and prosperity. 

St. Louis' Top 10 Ramen Restaurants

STL News | December 25, 2017

Sapporo 2: Ah ramen!  That dehydrated puck of wavy noodles and its powdered sauce packet was and continues to be a college dormitory mainstay.  Ramen is as popular today as it’s ever been, with ramen shops popping up all over the U.S., including in St. Louis.  But the ramen served in restaurants is very different from the instant stuff on which penny-pinching college students subsist. 

Feast on St. Louis: Midtown and The Grove

Feast Magazine | November 21, 2017

Follow the bright lights to two of St. Louis’ artsiest neighborhoods. The glowing neon signs over Manchester Avenue indicate the entrances to The Grove, and, 2 miles north, the resplendent Fabulous Fox Theatre and dazzling lights along North Grand Boulevard welcome you to the heart of Midtown.

GUIDED: Grand Center

GUIDED: Saint Louis | November 17, 2017

Join us for a tour through one of St. Louis’ thriving neighborhoods.

Here are the Best Bakeries in St. Louis

Riverfront Times | November 15, 2017

Baby Kakez: For the last four years, Michelle Jones has been baking out of her home for her large customer base. It wasn’t until this year she decided to open up her own shop in a storefront across from Saint Louis University. Her love for baking started initially as a hobby. Now, she serves “kupcakes,” “kakepops,” chocolate-covered treats (strawberries, pretzels, Oreos, s’mores and rice krispies) and more. Decorating classes are also available for any occasion. Each class includes cake, decorating supplies and an assistant. 

Pappy's Smokehouse and The Fountain on Locust: As with many lists, some of the entries might surprise you. Here's one that recently caught our eye (and requires no additional clicks): Yelp's 2017 list of the "Top 25 Places to Eat in St. Louis." According to Yelp's Aaron Blackwell, the 2017 restaurants were weighted by the number of reviews added and the star ratings. "So someone with 100 new reviews is going to be weighted differently [higher] than a business with 15 new reviews," he explains. "That doesn't mean that someone with 15 new reviews can't rank highly." (This methodology may explain some of the unexpected inclusions on the list.)

Developer Plans Lofts, Offices and Shipping-Container Shopping

St. Louis Post-Disbatch | October 24, 2017

Over the next two years, Johnson and his partners hope to rehab two vacant buildings into offices and lofts, add a hotel, build a parking garage and create a complex for retailers and restaurants out of shipping containers.

The $2 million renovation of Midtown Alley included a restoration of the historic tin ceiling and the white glazed brick walls.

Anyone counting Dave and Kara Bailey’s restaurant concepts will soon need another hand. The eighth (like the rest, in the St. Louis city limits) is Hugo’s Pizzeria, named after their son. Savvy diners might notice an unusually large kitchen, built to accommodate yet another new concept from the Baileys in the adjoining space—No. 9, if anybody’s keeping score. 

There’s a new partnership happening in the St. Louis area, and it involves a match made in heaven – beer and hockey!

The new bar on the edge of downtown St. Louis doesn't have a lot of things a bar might be expected to have. Like a roof — or even a front door. But what the Bronson House (3201 Washington Avenue) lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in ambience.

Local entrepreneur Steve Albers quit his job in bank management on July 3, 2015. He told his wife Olivia that he needed to start working full-time towards the goal of opening his own brewery. He made a deal with her: He would raise the capital, get the equipment and find a proper location in one year or go back to work.

Cool Down With Some of STL's Frozen Treats 

St. Louis Post-Disbatch | May 19, 2017

The Fountain on Locust: In addition to its soups and sandwiches, Midtown’s Fountain on Locust offers an extensive selection of ice cream, ice-cream sundaes and, for adults, ice-cream martinis and liqueur-infused sauces to top ice cream.

5 Dining Hot Spots This June

St. Louis Mag | May 18, 2017

Turn: Former Café Osage executive chef and longtime DJ David Kirkland runs Grand Center’s latest addition. The breakfast and lunch menu includes Kirkland’s signature jams and a patty melt made with corned beef.

Breakfast-Lunch Restaurant Turn Opens Near Midtown

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | May 18, 2017

Turn's chef is David Kirkland, formerly of Cafe Osage in the Central West End. Kirkland describes Turn as an “American bistro with a twist on the ideas of familiar foods.”

Patois Eastery & Social Lounge

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | May 18, 2017

Patois Eatery & Social Lounge replaces the Rustic Goat as the concept inside this address on midtown's eastern edge. Off the Menu's attempts to speak with the restaurant's management prior to publication were unsuccessful, but according to the Patois website, the menu offers jerk chicken (a 4-piece plate as well as in tacos and a salad), fried chicken and several flatbreads.

The 20 Best Patios in St. Louis

Feast Magazine | April 6, 2017

Patio season has arrived in St. Louis (finally!), and there's really only one way to celebrate. On a beautiful, sunny day or a warm summer night, head to a spacious patio to grab a cold beer and catch up with friends. Or, order a carefully crafted cocktail and enjoy sweeping views from high above the city at a rooftop bar. From charming beer gardens to posh rooftop bars, we've rounded up our 20 favorite patios in St. Louis. 

Located at 2617 Washington Ave - and replacing the Rustic Goat - Patois has already attracted hundreds of RSVPs to this grand opening event. Former owner of Rustic Goat, David Holman is now owner of Patois and says the new management is part of a transformation of the space. Marketing director Johnnie Franklin, from Chicago, echos this vision.

Music Record Shop (3224 Locust Street), which in early January made the move from its temporary home on Washington Avenue to its new location in the .Zack building in Midtown, is now officially open for business.

The fast-casual eatery, located just one block west of downtown at Jefferson and Washington, is the brainchild of Dave Holman and Chris Ayala. Holman is responsible for the restaurant's sassy look, which seems absolutely ready to be replicated soon in a neighborhood near you. Ayala, formerly the sous chef at Scottish Arms and then smokemaster at its sister restaurant the Shaved Duck, has created the menu and serves as chef. Born in Mexico City and raised in a food-loving family in Alton, Illinois, he's excited about the food they're serving.

Tech Company to Move From U City to Midtown Alley

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | May 4, 2016

Sherpa, developer of a customer relationship management software program, will move its office from University City to the Midtown Alley area in St. Louis.

Contractor to Move to Historic St. Louis House 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | April 6, 2016

The Hicor Group, a construction contractor, plans to spend $1.1 million to renovate the historic Bronson house in St. Louis as its headquarters.

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation is developing the new multi-media arts space called .ZACK (pronounced Zack). Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s Director of Operations Chris Hansen said the project will help develop the broader St. Louis theater scene.

Chameleon Relocates to Midtown Alley

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | September 13, 2013

Chameleon Integrated Services, an IT firm, says it has completed its relocation to a 1920s Spanish Mission-style building in the city's Midtown Alley.

Tattered scraps of ordinary white printer paper are glued to the support column that stands in the center of the first-floor dining room at Plush: floor plans and recipes, handwritten notes that the "glassware looks like shit" (shit is underlined multiple times) and to "drink some vodka." 

Boutique Marketing Firms Find a Home Along Midtown Alley

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | January 13, 2012

Mary and Eric Thoelke were first to land on the stretch of Locust Street where he now runs a thriving marketing outfit. The area had fallen into disrepair since its heyday in the early 20th century as a mecca for domestic car dealers.

Midtown Alley Shows its Creative Side at Annual Street Fest

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | September 30, 2011

Midtown Alley, wedged between Grand Center and downtown near St. Louis University's campus, has grown into an entertainment district in recent years. Home to restaurants, music clubs, breweries and other businesses, the Alley welcomes visitors to see what's new at its third annual Street Fest. 

Updated: Urban Chestnut Opens its Doors 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch | January 26, 2011

The St. Louis beer community got a surprise treat Wednesday when Urban Chestnut Brewing Company -- the area's newest craft brewery -- announced it would open its tasting room for the first time at 5 p.m.

$70 Million Redevelopment Revives Midtown Alley

St. Louis Business Journal | September 23, 2010

Over the past eight years, Jassen Johnson has led the $70 million redevelopment of almost 40 buildings in the historic Midtown Alley neighborhood, which encompasses a nearly one-mile section of Locust and Olive streets between Theresa Avenue to the west and Leffingwell to the east.