Delmar Loop struggles

Julian Albright, Guest Writer

As businesses struggle, the Loop is not the same place that it has been in the past.

In the past year, a number of stores and restaurants have closed in the Loop due to less business, an increase in rent in a lot of spaces, and the ongoing construction of the trolley.

Changes began when Good Works furniture store closed down last year because they were barely making any money. A few months after Good Works, a small burger joint, Chubbies, left the Loop l because of slow income. One of the biggest closings however was when St. Louis Bread Co. closed one of their key locations in St. Louis County. Thomas Looby, freshman, is disappointed that Bread Co. closed.

“There is nowhere to just chill,” said Looby.
Other students agree with him.

“People go there very often, people have their places,” Daniel Pomerantz, sophomore said.

As Bread Co. closes, a lot of young people in the area will lose an easy place to eat, do homework, and hang out. Leaving was not Bread Co’s decision, though. They rent a space from Commerce Bank and when Commerce raised their rent, Bread Co. had no choice but to shut down. Soon after, Smoothie King made its departure as well.

“It sucks that small businesses in the Loop are shutting down and becoming less popular,” said Pomerantz.

Pomerantz mentions that he feels like chain restaurants help in pushing out small businesses.
Mr. Gatewood, business teacher, shed some light on the subject.

“I think right now the Loop is going through a transitional period with the trolley coming in. So in the short term [closing businesses] is hurting the Loop, but in the long term it will provide opportunity [for other places].

Sydne Freeman, of Pitaya, said that business has been slow lately, but that it usually is after the holiday season.

“A lot of people still don’t know that Bread Co. has closed,” said Freeman. There has been a decrease in traffic. It’s like a win-lose situation. We have maybe lost a few people, but nothing too dramatic.”
At a bakery in the Loop called Piccione, one of the employees, Abi Agne, believes there are a couple different factors impacting business.

“The only thing that really affects us is the trolley construction. And good weather helps a lot,” she said.

Agne explained that their manager said that the only way that they are getting more business is with the closing of Bread Co.

As the closing of one business can help increase revenue for another, it is still unknown how the trolley will change the way people shop. The construction of the trolley has made it nearly impossible, at times, to drive down Delmar.

“I think it [the trolley] will attract a lot of tourism, but it is inconvenient for residents,” Noah Greenberg, freshman, said.