1. CHEER ON ST. LOUIS CITY SC.
CITYPARK stadium will seat 22,500 fans, yet it was designed in such a way that capacity can expand to 25,000. Seating options range from general admission to suites to boxes next to the pitch. The Supporter Section, behind the north goal, will be the place where diehards congregate.
No matter where you sit, you’ll be within 120 feet of the pitch. The closest seats will be 15 feet from the touchline. Even upper-level seats are close to the pitch, which sits 40 feet below street level.
The canopy roof was designed to reflect light, protect fans from the elements, and hold sound. Another cool fact about the roof? The color and paneling on the underside of the canopy pay homage to the Gateway Arch.
Located on the south end of the stadium, the ULTRA Club will feature 17 LED screens, a large bar, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a view of downtown and the Arch.
Count on CITY SC to play 17 to 20 regular season matches—most of them on Wednesdays and Saturdays—plus three exhibitions each year. The venue will also host concerts, high school and college sporting events, camps, and more.
At least 25 local food and beverage partners will be stationed across 52 locations at CITYPARK, and Niche Food Group’s Gerard Craft has been tasked with making their menus sing. Among the headlining partners are Brasserie by Niche, Pastaria Deli & Wine, Balkan Treat Box, Steve’s Hot Dogs, and BEAST Craft BBQ.
CITY SC APP
You can download the official CITY SC app to maximize the stadium experience. Tickets will be distributed virtually, and the stadium is entirely cashless. The app can also be used to order concessions before stepping in line.
There will be pet-friendly areas and green space around the stadium. Lou Fusz Plaza is a 125,500-square-foot terrace that features 24,000 square feet of green space and 1,000 linear feet of trail running along 20th Street. It will have a concession stand, power sources for food trucks, and space for more portable concession stands.
BEYOND THE PITCH
Didn’t score tickets? Don’t fret. The Pitch Athletic Club & Tavern, a 200-seat sports bar in the northwest corner of Union Station, will cater to soccer fans when it opens this spring. The 9,000-square-foot space, which formerly house Señor Julio’s, will open at 6:30 a.m. on weekends to air European soccer matches. And just a few blocks from the stadium, 21c St. Louis, a sort of museum-meets-hotel, will offer a new elegant option.
2. PLAY A FAMILY-FRIENDLY ROUND OF GOLF.
Think your cub is the next Tiger Woods? This year will bring a trio of new options for family-friendly golf experiences. First up: Puttshack, a new arrival at City Foundry STL. Patented Trackaball technology means you can ditch scorecards at the two-story mini-golf extravaganza, where players can choose one of four courses. Puttshack’s cocktail bar makes it even more family-friendly for Mom and Dad.
An opening date hasn’t been announced for developer Joe Edwards’ Magic Mini Golf project in the Delmar Loop, but construction is underway on the indoor 18-hole course. Also planned are two shuffleboard lanes, a Ferris wheel sourced from The Muny, and a kitchen and bar.
Last, Topgolf is teeing up to open its second St. Louis location, this one in Midtown at Chouteau and Compton. It will feature three levels and 102 climate-controlled outdoor hitting bays with Toptracer technology and Topgolf games. The new space will also house a restaurant and bar, outdoor patio, rooftop terrace, and private event space. Look for live music and family-friendly programs year-round. (And yes, you’ll be able to see the Arch from the new spot.)
3. SHOUT “KA-KAW!”
Yes, the XFL is bringing the Battlehawks back to The Dome at America’s Center when the league reboots under new ownership in February. The Battlehawks, who averaged 28,000 fans in two home games, were the toast of the upstart spring-football league before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the XFL to suspend operations early in the 2020 season. The team has been reborn, and it has ties to the St. Louis Rams, including head coach Anthony Becht, receivers coach Ricky Proehl, and defensive line coach La’Roi Glover.
4. ENTER THE HOLODECK.
For gamers, the new Sandbox VR at City Foundry STL might just be a critical hit. Sandbox VR bills itself as a “full-body virtual reality entertainment experience” that immerses players into different themed video games and uses full-body motion capture. Up to six players can enter one of four private game rooms—called “holodecks”—and dress in a VR headset, haptic vest, and backpack, and put motion sensors on their wrists and ankles, which allow them to interact with one another while getting the sensation of being immersed in the themed world. Players have a choice of six games: Deadwood Valley, Deadwood Mansion, Curse of Davy Jones, Amber Sky, Star Trek: Discovery, and UFL: Unbound Fighting League.
5. CHECK OUT THE BRICKLINE GREENWAY.
- Market Street (20th Street–22nd Street) Opening spring 2023
- Market Street (22nd Street–Compton Avenue) Construction slated to begin in late 2024
- Tower Grove Connector I (Vandeventer–Magnolia) Construction set to begin in 2024
- Metro (Sarah Street–Grand Avenue) Construction slated to begin in 2025
- Tower Grove Connector II (Cortex–Vandeventer) Construction TBA
- 20th Street (Market Street–St. Louis Avenue) Construction slated to begin in 2024
- St. Louis Avenue (20th Street–Grand Avenue) Construction slated to begin in 2025
- Interstate 64 Crossing (Saint Louis University–Grand Metrolink) Construction slated to begin in 2025
- Grand Avenue (Fairground Park–Page Avenue) Construction slated to begin in 2025
- Spring Avenue (Page Avenue–Saint Louis University) Construction slated to begin in 2026
- Cortex (Boyle Avenue–Sarah Street) Opened in 2018
- Clayton (Forest Park–Cortex at Boyle) Construction set to begin in 2025
Market Street Segment
It will be several more years before the completion of the ambitious Brickline Greenway project, a 10-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian pathways connecting downtown to Forest Park, and Fairground Park to Tower Grove Park. But the second sliver of the trail, a two-block segment running parallel to CITYPARK along Market between 20th and 22nd, will open in time for St. Louis CITY SC’s first match this spring. A portion of the greenway is next to a permanent, experiential art installation commemorating the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood, which occupied a chunk of what is now known as Downtown West before it was demolished in the 1950s. Great Rivers Greenway, which is overseeing the Brickline’s planning and layout, is being intentional about its desire to use the pathways to connect St. Louisans to not only places, but to culture and history. Throughout the planning process, the organization’s equity and economic impact director, T. Christopher Peoples, has been tasked with determining how the project can be a catalyst for equitable economic growth and opportunities. That means he’s looking for ways vacant lots along the trail could be activated and developed, and steps that Great Rivers and other local organizations could take to encourage workforce development in the nearby neighborhoods. “This is more than just a trail,” says Emma Klues, Great Rivers Greenway’s vice president of communications and outreach. “We’re thinking about public art. We’re thinking about how this can help boost civic pride and create a sense of place and neighborhood ownership.”
6. SLIP AND SLIDE—SANS WATER.
Germaphobe parents rejoiced at the news of Slick City Action Park’s opening in Chesterfield: finally, a water park without the gross water. Slick City is an all-ages indoor action park and birthday party venue featuring adventurous slides and air courts. At Slick City STL West, sliders must be at least 5 years old to ride attractions such as a four-person race slide, a launch slide that rockets the rider into the air, and a gentler switchback slide. Younger siblings can enjoy the soft play area designed for kids under age 7.
7. EXPLORE A NEW PLAYGROUND.
The area between Brentwood Boulevard and Hanley Road is scheduled to get a major glow-up that includes a bonkers new playground. Just how bananas are we talking? The playground has a price tag of $7 million and is expected to span 3 acres. As part of the Brentwood Bound plan, the city will be adding 32 acres of park space, most of it designed to flood. But some park land will be out of the flood zone, and when Brentwood Parks was considering what to do with it, says parks director Eric Gruenenfelder, they surveyed residents: A destination playground and water play feature were at the top of the respondents’ list. Kids will go nuts for the zipline; net climber; climbing wall; play structure with slides, swings, and walking paths; and a boardwalk that overlooks a pond. A waterfall feature will be tucked beneath a seating area with tables and chairs, and a stream-like design will serve as an interpretation of the Deer Creek Watershed, with Black Creek and Shady Creek feeding into the main waterway. “It’s one way we can celebrate the watersheds that we’re helping to try to correct now,” Gruenenfelder says.
8. VISIT A LIBRARY.
Little bookworms can get excited about the end of 2023, when the $22 million Clark Family Branch of the St. Louis County Library is expected to open at 1640 S. Lindbergh. Kids can explore a large playhouse and interactive learning opportunities. Teens will enjoy the tech innovation lab sponsored by Object Computing Inc., which will feature a 3D printer, a recording studio, and green screen for videos. And Mom and Dad can take a break outside on the second-story reading deck.
9. CELEBRATE SOME OF THE CITY’S CULTURAL STANDBYS.
The New Jewish Theatre kicks off its 25th season on January 19 with Broadway Bound, the third show in Neil Simon’s autobiographical trilogy. Across town, the 10th Great Rivers Biennial is on display at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis through February 12. On January 26, CAM will mark the 10th GRB with Confluence: Celebrating the Tenth Edition of the Great Rivers Biennial. Then, this summer, the Saint Louis Art Fair in downtown Clayton will celebrate its 30th anniversary. In recent years, the fair has offered a greater focus on diversity, accessibility, and independent artists, and the organizers plan to continue that trend. And in the fall, Metro Theater Companywill mark its 50th season with a free weekend of theater, education, and entertainment at the Fall Family Festival on October 21 and 22. This year also marks the beginning of MTC’s Every Child Initiative, which aims to reach every child in the region with MTC programming or plays over the next 10 years.
10. HEAR SCOTT JOPLIN IN A NEW WAY.
As part of the 2023 festival season, Opera Theatre of Saint Louiswill honor St. Louis Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Scott Joplin with a production of his 1911 opera, Treemonisha. Joplin did not live to see a completed stage production of the work, but it became a critical part of his legacy. In this new edition, Treemonisha is reimagined with a new prologue and epilogue featuring Joplin’s love and muse, Freddie Alexander Joplin.
11. EXPERIENCE A CULTURAL COLLABORATION.
This spring, both the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and The Black Rep will produce works by American playwright and MacArthur Genius grant recipient Dominique Morisseau, and the companies are planning to collaborate on a “joint celebratory event” to mark their productions. From February 10–March 5, The Rep will stage Confederates, Morisseau’s tale of parallel experiences of institutional racism a century apart. Then, from March 29–April 16, The Black Rep will presentSkeleton Crew, the third work in Morisseau’s “Detroit Cycle” trilogy.
The Saint Louis Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art have teamed up to present The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century. On view August 25, 2023–January 1, 2024, the exhibition will feature dozens of objects across various media. The exhibition will also feature work by artists with ties to the community, including St. Louis’ Damon Davis, Yvonne Osei, and Aaron Fowler, among others.
A FUTURE FEST
This summer, the Evolution Festival will bring together music, barbecue, and bourbon in Forest Park.
12. CATCH A SHOW AT THE KIRKWOOD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER.
If you’ve yet to make a trip to the new theater, now is the time to take a look at the calendars of some of the many arts organizations that call KPAC home. Winter Opera St. Louis will present Macbeth (January 20–22) and The Desert Song (March 3–5) at KPAC’s Ross Family Theatre. In the Strauss Black Box Theatre at KPAC, Moonstone Theatre Company is continuing its season’s theme of understanding with Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside (January 26–February 12) and Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons (March 16–April 2). Then, this summer, STAGES will continue to bring some of Broadway’s best to the Ross Family Theatre with Aida (June 2–July 2), Clue (July 21–August 20), and Million Dollar Quartet (September 8–October 8).
13. CHECK OUT A NEW DEVELOPMENT.
Riverpointe is a $350 million effort to fill in that slice of land between the Streets of St. Charles and the wooded Bangert Island on the Missouri River. It’s a mixed-use plan of residences, offices, and retail—with the Katy Trail running through it—plus an intriguing proposal to divert some riparian flow into a lake for kayaking. A pedestrian bridge would stretch over that water and onto the island.
For now, The District—Michael Staenberg’s development in Chesterfield Valley—lacks a centerpiece. Not for long. The Hub is being designed so that a social hall and four restaurants form the edges of a plaza that will include outdoor seating, a beer garden, and an al fresco performance space, complete with a stage and LED screen. It’s expected to be ready in the spring of 2023.
If all goes as planned for the developers at Green Street, then the Armory will be in full renaissance mode as you read these words. This 250,000-square-foot structure used to host the Missouri National Guard, then tennis players and concertgoers, then more recently, squatters, but now it’s being retooled to be “the living room of St. Louis” where visitors can watch pro sports games on big screens, check out bands, sip beer, throw horseshoes, and try a two-story slide.
Folks living in Midtown and downtown have long kvetched about having to travel long distances to reach a department store. The Edwin, slated to be complete by the end of 2023, may be the answer: Its developer, Pier Property Group, is planning on a Target store as its 70,000-square-foot anchor tenant. The building will also house nearly 200 apartments above.
Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Crestwood Plaza, this 47-acre development at Watson and Sappington will have a large Dierbergs and 81 single-family homes built by McBride. It will also boast some restaurant and public-gathering spaces, plus a bike-pedestrian bridge that will connect to the Grant’s Trail Greenway.
THE EVOLVING RIVERFRONT
Imagine, just south of the Poplar Street Bridge, an innovation district focused on the construction and architectural design industries. That’s the $1.2 billion vision of Gateway South, a reimagining of Chouteau’s Landing, being sketched out by Good Developments Group, which includes CEO Greg Gleicher, a Wash.U. grad, and Dennis Lower, formerly of Cortex. Renderings show residential towers with downtown views and some green space connecting to the Arch grounds. For Lighthouse Point, on the near north riverfront, Nashville-based M2 Development Partners is eyeing the 67 acres at the northernmost tip of the city for a marina and possibly a water park, hotel, and condo buildings, plus tens of thousands of square feet of retail and conference space. This would be about a mile and half east of the zoo’s forthcoming WildCare Park.
14. SEE WHAT’S NEW AT CITY FOUNDRY STL.
Despite a pandemic delay that caused several main players to bow out, City Foundry STL is now living up to the hype of being a fully walkable place to spend the day. Alamo Drafthouse Cinemaanchors the west end of the complex, boasting 10 screens and scratch-made food that’s deliverable to the 900-plus recliner seats. Across Foundry Way is the St. Louis outpost of City Winery, a highly acclaimed music and restaurant venue slated to open in the first quarter of this year. At press time, 17 of the 20 Food Hall kitchens are occupied (and all have been leased), and 17 locally owned retailers and boutiques have opened. Sandbox VR and Fresh Thyme are open, and there’s the new Puttshack, a 26,500-square-foot, tech-inspired mini-golf and chef-prepared food venue, and another large restaurant concept is forthcoming. The city’s second TruFusion fitness center is also set to open there in early 2023. “There are so many different ways for a family to enjoy singular experiences at the same time,” says Smith. “That’s the beauty of City Foundry.” Plans also exist for the subterranean tunnel system that was discovered beneath the complex. Phase 2, a 275-unit residential building and an office building, should be completed in 2024, “with more phases after that,” Smith says. “So stay tuned.”
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is turning a former bank at the intersection of Natural Bridge and Newstead into a launching pad for new businesses. The building, which was donated by Commerce Bank, will house the Urban League’s new Entrepreneurship and Women’s Business Center. Renovations are expected to be completed by June. Once ready, the facility will offer classes and seminars for current business owners, as well as community members who are looking to start businesses of their own.
Representatives of DOORWAYS, a nonprofit serving unhoused people living with HIV/AIDS, cut the ribbon on Phase 1 of a new campus in JeffVanderLou in October. The project features emergency housing units and space for client services, such as intake, counseling, and education. The second phase, expected to open this fall, will include additional housing areas.
15. VISIT A MUCH-ANTICIPATED RESTAURANT.
SLATED TO OPEN IN JANUARY
Kevin Brennan has successfully relocated his beloved Central West End hangout Brennan’s from its original location to new digs just around the corner, overcoming a late-2020 fire that devastated the then-new space. Now, Brennan is ready to unveil the sequel to Maryland House, the speakeasy-esque venue that was located on the floor above the original Brennan’s. This new Maryland House will occupy a separate Central West End address, the former Mandarin Lounge. The rooftop lounge will have a different food and drink menu than the one at Brennan’s; Brennan describes it as “modern takes on small plates—some interesting seasonal stuff that’ll change out quarterly.” It will also feature a rooftop garden terrace and a digital art gallery. “We intentionally designed the space to have only so much seating for dining and a little bit more for lounging and just hanging out,” Brennan says. 44 Maryland Plaza.
SLATED TO OPEN IN LATE JANUARY
After Nippon Tei closes this January, it will give way to Sado, a more modern venue located several ZIP codes to the east. Co-owner and James Beard Award nominee Nick Bognar hopes that patrons will see the 100-seat restaurant as “a reinvention, one synonymous with ‘sushi bar,’ in the most elegant sense,” where they can also find popular Japanese dishes from Nippon Tei. Later this year, a former office surrounded by a courtyard will be converted to a space to host Bognar’s renowned omakase dinners. 5201 Shaw.
SLATED TO OPEN IN EARLY FEBRUARY
Two years ago, the Pietoso family opened Napoli III, a much-needed Italian restaurant at the Streets of St. Charles. This year, they’ve doubled down with Napoli Sea, a seafood restaurant located next door. “We managed to tap an untouched market, so we’re doing it again in our own back yard but in a smaller space,” says co-owner Kye Pietoso. An 18-seat, U-shaped “showstopper” bar anchors the 70-seat room, where themed design elements include LED lighting that mimics the ocean flowing from the ceiling down to the bar. 1450 Beale, St. Charles.
SLATED TO OPEN IN MARCH
Despite the meteoric success of two Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria locations and an ever-growing frozen-pizza operation, owners Katie and Ted Collier did not have a space for private parties and events. The forthcoming 350-seat, 10,000-square-foot downtown space will be able to accommodate weddings, business and casual dinners, and fans in Cardinals jerseys searching for a slice and a beer. Guests can expect “major greenery,” bespoke art from Ted Collier and Belinda Lee (Katie’s aunt), and a building-length patio enlivened by a bank of French doors. 751 Clark.
SLATED TO OPEN IN LATE SUMMER
The former Down by the Station space in Kirkwood will house a collaboration between 4 Hands Brewing Co. and The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. that will blend the traditional with the modern, in what 4 Hands owner Kevin Lemp calls “industrial elegance.” The narrow, 3,400-square-foot space and expansive all-weather patio will allow for a more elevated cocktail program and an expansion of 4 Hands’ 1220 Spirits and Withered Oak brands. Peacemaker chef-owner Kevin Nashan promises all of the menu favorites, minus the shrimp and crab boils, which will be featured on occasional weekends. 150 W. Argonne.
16. EXPERIENCE THE RESTAURANT RESURGENCE ALONG WYDOWN.
The corner of Wydown and Hanley in Clayton is once again the crossroads for elevated dining in St. Louis. Joining Akar, Bistro La Floraison, Peno—and, of course, the legendary Protzel’s Deli—is Bar Moro and Wright’s Tavern, from two of the city’s renowned restaurateurs, Ben Poremba and Matt McGuire, respectively. The former introduces tapas and Iberian cuisine in the form of tinned fish, fresh shrimp (farm raised in Foristell, Missouri), and a must-have riff on Basque cheesecake. At Wright’s Tavern, acclaimed chef Cary McDowell is dazzling patrons with quality steaks, nontraditional scampi, and burgers with house-made fries.
17. SEE HOW AUGUSTA IS EVOLVING.
David and Jerri Hoffmann have invested $150 million in and around Augusta with the hope of transforming the area into a national wine destination, “the Napa of the Midwest,” as David says. To date, the properties include six vineyards, several retail shops, and a scatter of guest homes and cabins designed to transform a day trip into an overnight memory.
18. CHECK OUT NEW OPTIONS BETWEEN DOWNTOWN AND MIDTOWN.
Jefferson Connector (or “JC” for short) is the name of the $70 million development that connects Midtown and downtown with new restaurants, retail, and living spaces. On one corner, five tenants are setting up shop, including Nexus Cultural Cuisine and Craft Cocktails, Videira Wine Shop & Bar, Kain Tayo, Anita Café and Bar, and Blue Jay Brewing Co.
19. FLOAT THE DARDENNE CREEK BLUEWAY.
The first phase opened in May 2022 as a 3.5-mile water trail from 370 Lakeside Park in St. Peters to Riverside Landing Park in St. Charles designed for paddling, fishing, camping, and a range of other outdoor activities. The second phase spans 5.2 miles and connects to Lone Wolff Park.
20. SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE.
A formerly vacant shopping plaza in Dellwood will soon fulfill a higher purpose, thanks to a campaign led by pastors Ken and Beverly Jenkins of Refuge and Restoration Church. R&R Marketplace is an $18 million project that organizers hope will provide needed resources and equitable opportunities to North County. It will feature an employment training center that will focus more on career pathways than job placement, a coworking space, an early-childhood education academy that will serve 120 preschool-aged kids, a banking center for small businesses and community members, and a multiplex that will include a new home for the Jenkinses’ church, spaces for neighborhood meetings, event areas, and more. “It’s a five-pillar project that infuses all of these services that yield not only economic stability but mobility,” Beverly Jenkins says. The Jenkinses anticipate the opening of Phase 1, which includes everything but the multiplex, this summer; the multiplex is expected to open by the end of the year.
21. JOIN THE PICKLEBALL CRAZE.
Not long after pickleball courts began popping up in country clubs and city parks, larger venues began bouncing onto the scene. By early summer, The District in Chesterfield will be the metro area home of The Real Dill, an entertainment complex featuring pickleball, wiffle ball, ping-pong, and shuffleboard, as well as food and drink options. Also slated to open this year at St. Charles’ new Riverpointe development: Chicken N Pickle, another large entertainment venue that will showcase pickleball alongside a chef-driven restaurant and sports bar.
22. FLY INTERNATIONAL.
Last summer, Lufthansa Flight 449 took off from Lambert and touched down in Frankfurt, Germany. It marked the first time a commercial airliner had flown directly from St. Louis to continental Europe in almost 20 years—both an economic boon for the region and a relief for St. Louisans sick of connecting flights. Frankfurt’s just the start, though—the airline offers 300 destinations in more than 100 countries, not to mention all the European cities a short train ride away: Paris, Amsterdam, London, to name a few. Prefer the Caribbean? In February, Frontier Airlines plans to launch nonstop seasonal service to Montego Bay, Jamaica.
23. REDISCOVER THE MISSISSIPPI.
Until recently, those hoping to set sail on the Mighty Mississippi without a barge or boat have relied on the likes of Big Muddy Adventures or Gateway Arch Riverboats, companies that typically explore small stretches of the river. Enter Viking River Cruises. The modern Viking Mississippicruise ship is replete with an infinity plunge pool, an Explorers’ Lounge & Bar with panoramic views, and a restaurant with American classics and restaurant Mamsen’s Norwegian specialties. It’s a luxurious option to rediscover the river and some of the towns—St. Paul, Memphis, and New Orleans—along the way.