It’s February – and to me, that means Mardi Gras. Did you know that St. Louis hosts the 2nd largest Mardi Gras Parade party in the country? At least that’s the claim. I’ve seen reported counts of revelers in attendance anywhere from 200,000 to over half a million! Mardi Gras translates from French to Fat Tuesday and refers to a period of overindulgence in food, drink and celebration before the start of the ritual fasting and penitence of Lent. And overindulge is just what 26 of my closet friends and I enjoyed doing at a party hosted by Krewe deVil. They offered everything from unlimited Bloody Marys and Beignets to Hurricanes and Jambalaya. Add to that the perfect parade viewing, abundant bead collecting and great music…. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
It’s no surprise that Mardi Gras is held in the historically French neighborhood of Soulard. The area is named after the family who owned much of the land in the early 1800s. Julia Soulard’s Will gifted the city land for the Soulard Market that is still operating today. Here you will also find one of St. Louis’ most beloved landmarks, the Anheuser-Busch flagship brewery established in 1852. You can hardly call yourself a St. Louisan if you haven’t taken a brewery tour. But what about living here?
Located just minutes south of the Arch and bordered on the North and West by I-55, it’s easily accessible to all the city’s major highways. According to Yelp.com, the neighborhood houses over 39 restaurants within its 17 square blocks. BuiltStLouis.net describes the neighborhood perfectly, “The streets of Soulard are lined with densely packed red brick houses of intimate scale. Small garden plot yards, mousehole passageways, unexpected porches, and a generally cohesive streetscape make Soulard one of the most urban residential environments in Midwest… and one of the best.”
The City of St. Louis 2010 census reports that there are 3,440 residents in Soulard in some 2,441 housing units. This is an increase of 7.94% over the 2000 census.
Soulard continues to see investment and improvement in its housing. Depending on your preference, you can find historic ‘shells’ waiting to be renovated or restored works of art that are move-in ready. Here’s a sample of listings from 7/9/16. Contact me to find out more about what’s currently available.
I brought my Mardi Gras celebration to a close with the best Creole comfort food in the city. Riverbend Resturant & Bar sits in the shadow of the brewery on the southern tip of Soulard. Offering everything from Po-boys, Jambalaya, and Etuoufee; New Orleans chef Sam Kogos rocked my world with his Gumbo! I haven’t had Gumbo that tasty since Norton’s Cafe (now owned by Molly’s of Soulard) closed. And the lagniappe, that’s Cajun for a little something extra, … warm bread pudding with whiskey sauce, of course!
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