The Loop takes a hit with loss of businesses, trolley closure

Charya Young, Staff Writer

Even though the Delmar Loop is one of the most popular places to hang with friends and family, several students feel that the street has lost some of its luster over the years.

“I think that the Loop has gone downhill, it is not doing as well as it had in the past,” Sasha Albright, freshman said. “It is not a place where kids can go anymore.” 

The Loop has lost a number of beloved businesses, including St. Louis Bread Co., Foot Locker and Cicero’s. For students, these restaurants and shops provided places to study and hang out. 

Principal Michael Peoples has enjoyed dining out in the Loop with his family at his favorite restaurant, Blue Ocean, which specializes in sushi.

“It is always disappointing when your favorite places close down,” said Peoples. “It takes away a part of your teen years and your memories.”

Although the student visit quota gradually decreased over the years, students who still make time to go to the Loop would like to see more places to shop and hang out.

“I think more stores should be added, or the stores that left need to come back because it is getting kind of boring going to the same places every time you go,” said Lanaja Wilson, junior.

Some have assumed that the funding for the trolley, which opened for public use last November, is the reason why so many shops have left, however others presume that shop owners were not in a stable position to keep business running.

“I do not discourage the trolley at all,” said Peoples. “I think some businesses closed prior to the trolley being funded and built. Because of lack of revenue, they were not able to support their businesses.”

Although some businesses were doomed to close, the construction seemed to be a turning point for others. Access to storefronts were limited and parking became a challenge, which prohibited people from supporting business.

“It was definitely difficult to drive in the Loop,” said history teacher Yul Amerson. “They needed to make a better, safer way for both the construction workers and drivers.”

Some also wanted the new trolley to go farther than where it goes currently. Kevin Stapleton-Cloud, math teacher, would have liked to see it reach deeper into downtown.

“It was a good idea but it doesn’t go far enough,” said Cloud. “It needs to be a St. Louis thing, not just a U. City thing.” 

The end of the road for the trolley is nearing sooner than expected. According to News 4, the trolley is set to shut down completely on Dec. 29. A resolution to keep the trolley running is still in the works, but most U. City residents like science teacher, Tim Dykas, aren’t surprised that the project didn’t last.

“It’s funny how quickly it failed,” said Dykas. “[The residents] could have predicted it a long time ago, but they didn’t listen so now it’s like, ‘we told you so.’”