Ballpark Village to blame for recent downtown restaurant closure - KMOV.com

Ballpark Village to blame for recent downtown restaurant closures?

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The recent announcement of the closure of several downtown restaurants has some business owners wondering if Ballpark Village is wiping out the competition.

Harry’s Restaurant, located on Market Street in the western part of Downtown St. Louis will be closing soon, its owner said. The owner told News 4 Ballpark Village has taken 70 percent of his restaurant’s business.

 “There’s been places that have been closing from Washington Avenue to Soulard, the Dubliner, a few other small places. Joe bucks and Shannon’s have closed,” said John Johnson, the owner of Broadway Oyster Bar. “It’s just kind of sucked up a lot of the customers that went to different places.”

Johnson said Ballpark Village has had very little negative impact on him and he recently expanded Broadway Oyster Bar. It was hoped that Ballpark Village would attract enough customers downtown that other bars and restaurants would benefit, but many believe the opposite has occurred.

“I feel badly for everybody involved particularly the people who worked there in the kitchen, servers and bartenders because they’re kind of out of a job now and looking in a market where there’s not a lot going on right now,” Johnson said.

Others dispute the notion that Ballpark Village is driving competitors out of business.

“There are restaurants that have left, but others have opened in new spaces,” said Missy Kelley with Downtown STL Inc. “I just think it’s really easy thing to do to just point at progress in one area as the demise of someone else. I think we do that too much. I’m not at all saying that competition isn’t a factor, it always plays a role.”

Mike Shannon’s, which announced it is closing at the end of January, is a gathering spot before Cardinals games but also features high end menu items not found at Ballpark Village.

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