January 03, 2019
Quick! Pick one word to describe your 2018!
Not easy, is it? We did this exercise ourselves and came up with one word to describe this past year: more. Here are five things that made this a year of growth for Downtown Springfield.
It started early. January 16 to be exact. That’s when Hotel Vandivort announced it would construct a 42,000 square foot building near its current home at 305 East Walnut St. The addition includes more than 40 new rooms. It will also host a rooftop bar, called The Vantage. Less than one week later, St. Louis developer Sam Chimento announced plans for Vue on Walnut. That $20 million project will bring top-of-the-line student housing to 435 East Walnut St. Vue on Walnut will add 344 beds to the neighborhood. In June came plans for a new hotel, Tru by Hilton, on East Elm. Bryan Hotel Management said the four-story building will host 98 units.
Downtown Springfield is more delicious than ever. Longtime festival favorite Greek Belly finally opened its brick-and-mortar location, at 320 East Walnut St. John Tsahiridis serves up authentic Greek cuisine and the restaurant hosted its first Greek Night in November. The next Greek Night celebration is Jan. 18. Bits of Britain Cafe also brings its menu from across the pond. That includes pastries, sandwiches and afternoon tea. Pizza lovers rejoiced with the addition of New York Style Pizzeria. Barbecue lovers gained another option in Black Market Smokehouse. Social on Patton is serving up shareables and cocktails. Craving something sweet? Now there’s Crave Cookie Dough. At this point you might not have any more room in your stomach.
A handful of new stores opened in Downtown Springfield in 2018. Suddenlies Gallery & Boutique offers new and upscale resale women’s clothing and apparel. Owner Cheryl Mitchell also carries handcrafted jewelry, paintings, photography and other local art. Crystalline Velvet is another store featuring gorgeous handcrafted jewelry. Owner Taffy Massey opened her doors in late summer and will soon be offering classes. SOAP Refill Station is the only bulk soap store in Springfield. It carries everything you need for anything you clean. Park Central Market is another new one-stop-shop. More than a convenience store or mini-market, Park Central Market sells convenience items along with locally made products, like food, drinks, cupcakes and candles.
What a year it was for fun! The Rated SGF Film Festival made its debut in March, celebrating exceptional things in unexpected places. October brought the Downtown Open, Springfield’s first pop-up mini golf course. That event included a family-friendly front nine along with a 21-and-over back nine. Furry friends invaded Park Central Square later that month for Pets and Pumpkins, a fall festival for the whole family.
All of that new construction means grand openings are on the way! Stay tuned for plenty of those in 2019. That includes Hold Fast Brewing Company, Downtown Springfield’s fourth brewery, Best Of Luck Beer Hall, The Hepcat and more. Keep your eyes on our website and social media channels for more information as it becomes available.