I realized recently that I had never taken a single picture of Bevo Mill, the iconic former Anheuser-Busch corporate restaurant at Gravois and Morganford. Legend has always stated that the Busches dined at the restaurant on their way out to Grant’s Farm, because it was half-way home. In reality, it is about a half mile closer to the brewery.
The intersection, while confusing in a car, is a thriving area, with plenty of Bosnian shops and restaurants enlivening the area.
Nearby, apartment buildings provided the density that created the customers who patronized the commercial strip along Gravois. Its brick pattern almost hurts my eyes, but it also points to an important development in St. Louis architecture at the dawn of the new century; red brick no longer possessed hegemony over architecture in the city.
The Bevo Mill is a fascinating building, reminding me of various garden follies I’ve seen in Germany; it was never an operating windmill of course, and was part of A-B’s strategy, along with the Feasting Fox and Stork Inn, of combating temperance forces by creating family friendly restaurants before Prohibition.
I don’t know much about the Little Bevo, across Morganford, but I suspect it was where the men headed after dinner to drink after their families had gone home. Does anyone remember this place in its heyday? I dined at the larger Bevo Mill in 1996 for the last time.