Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ya' Gotta Eat

Ya' Gotta Eat

Oh, wait, I listed the Rally's locations already.

Now for some more fast food chain locations in the City of St. Louis - closed and open.

Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
3 locations operating

1) 601 Chestnut at 6th, across from Kiener Plaza. Very busy at the lunch hour.
2) 4115 Lindell near Sarah, on an outlot at the Lindell Marketplace strip center
3) 3554 S Kingshighway at Tholozan

I know of at least two former Wendy's locations in the city:

1) S. Broadway at Montana - recently demolished to build a new Mary Margaret Day Care
2) Gravois near Grace - recently renovated into a dental office

4 locations operating - and their parent company is based in downtown at One USBank Center. In spite of their listing on Yahoo under "Fast Food," I'm pretty sure they don't actually sell food there. They also had several stands inside Busch Stadium, but since it's being demolished right now, I wouldn't count that as a currently operating location!

1) 4202 S Broadway at Meramec
2) 5854 Oakland at Clayton Ave., just east of Hampton
3) 2110 Hampton at Wilson, near I-44
4) 8360 N Broadway near Halls Ferry in Baden

I know for certain that there was once a Hardee's in the 3100 block of South Jefferson, facing Benton Park. It has been demolished to make way for a new condominium development. The building closed as a Hardee's in the 1990s, then was a Chinese take-out place for a number of years. The owner was killed in a hold-up, and it was shuttered ever since. There may have been some others in the City, too; I know of three or four in South County that closed, too - on Watson in Webster Groves, two on Telegraph, and maybe another.

Jack in the Box
6 locations operating - that's a lot!

1) 1807 Gravois at Russell
2) 2163 S Grand at Flad
3) 3909 Gravois at Gustine
4) 1242 Hampton at West Park
5) 4201 S Kingshighway at Chippewa
6) 5600 S Grand at Bates

Former Jack in the Box locations:
1) Halls Ferry Circle - not sure of the address. Closed probably 5 years ago.
2) Dairy Queen at Hampton and Eichelberger - quite obviously was built as a Jack.

Dairy Queen
3 locations operating

1) 609 Lafayette at 7th, across from Soulard Market
2) 5409 Hampton at Eichelberger
3) 5341 Riverview at Thekla - apparently a new location, in an existing renovated building in Walnut Park of all places!

There used to be an old-time walk-up Dairy Queen at Hampton and Nottingham, but it was torn down in the early 1990s to build an oil change place. Now, the DQ at Mackenzie and Gravois in Affton is the only remaining walk-up location.

DQ seems to be very big in Illinois, though. There are two locations just in the Village of Cahokia. There's also a stand of some kind inside St. Louis Children's Hospital, but I wouldn't really count that as a location. For that matter, they've actually opened a new DQ/Orange Julius stand in Crestwood Plaza - while everybody else seems to be moving out!

3 locations operating

1) 4021 Lindell between Vandeventer and Sarah (still has a funny old cowboy-hat sign)
2) 3924 S Grand at Alberta
3) 6666 Chippewa near Ivanhoe

White Castle
7 locations operating. White Castle, of course, has been in St. Louis from the beginning. Unfortunately, rather than investing in the original buildings, they demolish them and replace with new construction every 20-30 years, it seems.

1) 806 S Broadway at Gratiot
2) 2009 Hebert at North Florissant
3) 1002 S Vandeventer at Chouteau. This was the last of the old-time White Castle buildings, replaced in about 1990 or so.
4) 3601 Gravois at Grand
5) 1441 N Kingshighway at Martin Luther King Dr.
6) 3524 N Kingshighway at Natural Bridge
7) 4524 S Kingshighway at Lansdowne - this location is closed, being replaced with a new store on the same location

Former White Castle locations:

Hampton and Chippewa - You can't mention former fast food places in St. Louis without mentioning this one. After all, Jim Shrewsbury and others campaigned to save it, but to no avail. They even had t-shirts printed up.

So, that should be a pretty complete run-down of the fast food burger joints in the City. (Steak N Shake isn't counted here because it's a little different set-up.)

One thing that's evident is how few of these are located in Downtown or North City. The Northside does have more than its fair share of fried chicken chain outlets: Lee's, KFC, and Popeye's. However, for burger places, it's the Southside that's in the lead.

Downtown has:
0 McDonald's
0 Burger King
0 Hardee's
0 Jack in the Box
0 Dairy Queen
0 Arby's
0 Rally's
1 Wendy's - across from Kiener Plaza
1 White Castle - but south of Hwy 40, not in the downtown core


There is also a Lion's Choice downtown, 600 Pine at 6th. It's their only City location.

And there are a McDonald's and a Rally's within walking distance of downtown, but neither is particularly convenient. To get to Mickey D's, you gotta cross both Tucker and Cole, pretty wide high-traffic streets; and to get to Rally's you must cross Chouteau at Broadway. Plus it's a walk-up, anyway.

Granted, there are many, many better eating options within downtown. However, if you're looking to spend $5 or less on lunch in the downtown core, that Wendy's is about your only option. You could maybe go to one of several Subway sandwich shops; but even Quizno's is gonna run in the $7-8 range per person.

On the Northside, White Castle and Rally's seem to be the most ubiquitous burger places. In the portion of the city north of Delmar, there are:

2 McDonald's - one just north of downtown, the other on Natural Bridge
1 Burger King - located on Delmar
4 Rally's - one just north of Delmar, three along Natural Bridge
1 Dairy Queen - up in Walnut Park
0 Wendy's
1 Hardee's - way up in Baden
0 Arby's
0 Jack in the Box
3 White Castle - two on Kingshighway, one in Old North StL

TOTAL = 12

Meanwhile, in the Southwest part of the city, roughly bounded by I-64/US 40, Kingshighway (including those located immediately on the east side of the street), Gravois, and the city limits, there are:

4 McDonald's - One on Kingshighway, two on Hampton, one on Gravois
1 Burger King - on Hampton
2 Rally's - One on Kingshighway, the other on Chippewa
1 Wendy's - On Kingshighway
2 Hardee's - Both on or near Hampton
1 Dairy Queen - On Hampton
2 Jack in the Box - One on Hampton, the other on Kingshighway
1 Arby's - On Chippewa
1 White Castle - on Kingshighway, currently under construction

TOTAL = 15

So, Southwest city has at least one of everything. Many are located on Kingshighway (particularly in the blocks closest to Chippewa), but just as many are on Hampton, with several along Chippewa.

In the Central West End and Midtown, there aren't nearly as many burger places.

1 McDonald's - on Lindell
0 Burger King - but there is one on Delmar just north of the CWE
2 Rally's - on Vandeventer and on Chouteau/Grand
1 Wendy's - on Lindell
0 Hardee's
0 Dairy Queen
0 Jack in the Box
1 Arby's - on Lindell
1 White Castle - if you call Vandeventer and Chouteau "Midtown" (officially, the WC is located in McRee Town)


As it happens, the McDonald's, Wendy's, Rally's and Arby's in the central part of the city are all clustered within a two-block section of Lindell near Sarah. I guess some SLU students might go over there, despite what their Public Safety people tell them.

The "near" Southside areas, which I'll consider anything south of the Chouteau corridor, east of the Kingshighway corridor, and north of Meramec St., have a strange mix.

2 McDonald's - On Grand and on Jefferson
3 Burger King - how did that happen? They're on 7th, on Jefferson/Gravois, and on Grand.
2 Rally's - On Jefferson and on Chouteau/4th
0 Wendy's
0 Hardee's
3 Jack in the Box - again, very strange. Two on Gravois, one on Grand.
1 Dairy Queen - on S. 7th.
1 Arby's - On Grand
1 White Castle - At Grand and Gravois

TOTAL = 13

Most of these are either on Gravois or Grand; although Jefferson has a bit of a line-up (McDonald's, Burger King and Rally's within a five-block stretch). Also, one Burger King and the Dairy Queen are along S. 7th St. within a short drive, but a long walk, of downtown. Grand at Chippewa is a significant cluster, with a Burger King, the Arby's, and a McDonald's all within three blocks on Grand.

Finally, the "far" Southeastern part of the city, that is south of Meramec and east of an imaginary line just east of Kingshighway, has relatively few fast food burger places considering how large its population is.

1 McDonald's - On Broadway at I-55
0 Burger King
0 Rally's
0 Wendy's
1 Hardee's - On Broadway at Meramec
1 Jack in the Box - On Grand
0 Dairy Queen
0 Arby's
0 White Castle


The McDonald's and the Hardee's are only a few blocks apart on S Broadway.

I'm not surprised there are so many fast food places in Southwest city - there's a lot of people there, and a lot of money. The crappier fast food places gravitate to North city and Near South city, not surprisingly, since there are also lots of people but they have less money.

There are very few people living in downtown and midtown; and most of the workers can afford to eat at nicer places. Likewise the BJC hospitals complex. So, there aren't many fast food places there; indeed, there are a lot fewer than there used to be downtown.

Why the farther south areas, though, have so few fast food places is a mystery to me Given the working-class, racially-mixed nature of these areas, it seems a natural market for such franchises.

Maybe it just has to do with traffic counts and travel patterns. Since most folks who live that far south probably go through the intersections like Grand/Chippewa and Grand/Gravois to get places, or do their shopping in areas like Kingshighway/Chippewa or Hampton/Chippewa, they just don't demand anything closer to their homes.

The only fast food place within the Carondelet area is the Jack in the Box at Grand and Bates. I wonder why there aren't any located at I-55 and Bates, or I-55 and Loughborough?

It is probably good, for the revival of historic areas like Carondelet, that they don't have a lot of fast food places. But it's just surprising to me it happened that way.

To summarize, Citywide there are:

10 McDonald's
10 Rally's
7 White Castle
6 Jack in the Box
5 Burger King
4 Hardee's
3 Wendy's
3 Arby's
3 Dairy Queen

TOTAL = 51

Of those, the following have NO locations north of Delmar:
Jack in the Box, Wendy's, and Arby's.

And the following have NO locations inside or within one mile of downtown:
Jack in the Box, Hardee's, and Arby's.

Meanwhile, the following have two or more locations north of Delmar:
McDonald's, White Castle, and Rally's.

I realize that fast food restaurants are primarily franchises, so they're not really *big business* - they're usually medium-sized businesses. Still, I would like to see the franchising planners and owners give a little more consideration to urban locations.

To say nothing of their atrocious architecture.

1 comment:

Lily Bleu said...

I'm curious... What point are you attempting to make by listing out how many fast food restaurants are in each city quadron and which ones are in each city quadron?

Interesting data. Did you count them all out or find a research site that provides this sort of data?