Sara Lou’s Not Doing Well


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Over three years ago, my friends and I came across one of the most architecturally harmonious intersections in the city: Sarah and St. Louis Avenue.  Sara Lou Cafe, named after the intersection, was long an institution in the Ville.  But with the death of the owner a year or two ago, and the closure of the restaurant years before, the building has fallen on hard times.

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The sign, while not original to the eclectic building, is still a standout and an excellent example of Twentieth Century neon sign design.

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The plywood has gone up since my first examination of the building, and it is sadly not surprising; this building is in increasingly bad shape.

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Around on the Sarah side, one can see the horrible bulge out of the bay window on the second floor; I would not be surprised if it collapses this winter.

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I always loved this porch; think of the time and money that went into building it originally.  Someone truly had pride when they built this building.

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Across Sarah is another of the buildings on the corner; it is in excellent shape, though abandoned.  In fact, it seems all the four corners are now abandoned, which was not the case just a few years ago.

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2 Responses

  1. Tom Maher - Kirkwood

    01/12/2014, 12:45 pm

    I note the copper thieves missed a tiny bit on the first building.
    Isn’t there a place here that collects signs? That is a great one, even if missing the tubes. Maybe the African American museum downtown?

    I’m surprised the copper is still intact on the final building. While you mention it is abandoned, it would sorta look like there are residents in the portion on the left.
    Those uppermost windows are interesting – I wonder if they are the only ones for a windowless -(and low-ceilinged) attic? Or perhaps a tiny-tiny apartment?
    It looks like this has a cast iron facade (word?) – true?

  2. Geri

    02/10/2014, 09:21 pm

    Back in the 80s we used to live at 4038 Palm. The house is still there and now occupied by another family. Anyway, my mom used to go to Sara Lou’s a lot back then. She always talked about the shrimp and the frog legs. At the time I thought eating frog legs was gross. I still do of course. I do remember when it was open. It had a lot business back then. The last picture I remember being opened not to long ago. The apartment attatched to it was occupied by a classmate back in 82. I remembered his name was Dallas. I always thought that was a strange name for boy.


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