Ballpark Village brings new restaurants and competition

8:37 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Friday was a day the Cardinals have been promising would come for more than a decade. Construction has started on Ballpark Village.

Ballpark Village is sure to generate a lot of buzz with two multi-story buildings with restaurants, bars, stores, and decks looking into Busch Stadium.

"The opportunity for fans to come early and stay later and to really celebrate Cardinal history with the museum, catch a ballgame from a rooftop deck, it just adds an element to this franchise's already a great unbelievable historic franchise and this just takes it to another level," says Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III.

Crews got to work immediately on Ballpark Village. Thousands will enjoy it once it opens in 2014.

The obvious concern is that it may hurt the small restaurants around Busch Stadium.

"Obviously we do a lot of business with Cardinals fans," says Broadway Oyster Bar owner John Johnson. "A lot of people come here before games, after games."

His restaurant is just a few blocks away from Busch.

"We {the restaurants near the stadium} think of ourself as Ballpark Village to be honest with you because we've been here for a long time. This place has been here 35 years."

He says places like his offer something special like live music, unique food, and the atmosphere that comes with older buildings. Still, he expects his regulars to check out the new kid on the block. He says he plans to do the same thing to see what it's like.

He's not thrilled about the new addition to the neighborhood, but he's not terribly worried his regulars leaving him. And he welcomes the competition.

"We've always welcomed new places coming into the neighborhood wherever they are. Competition is good. And the more we can make this a destination area where people are coming down for baseball or for any kind of event, it helps everybody in the neighborhood."

The $100 million first phase is expected to be done some time in 2014. They're putting down the infrastructure for the next phases, which will include office, retail, and living space.















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