Given the demise of the pay phone, cell phones are almost a necessity and very convenient as well. Except, of course, when something goes wrong. And even when they work just fine, they are expensive to keep up.
If you just want a pre-paid throw-away phone and/or a recharge of minutes, there are innumerable places you can find that across the urban core. Since a lot of folks don't have particularly good credit and would find it difficult to get a cell phone contract, but still want the convenience of a mobile phone, that's not surprising.
But what is frustrating is just how few actual stores operated by the cell phone carriers themselves that provide sales and service, are located within the City of St. Louis.
Several years back there was an AT&T Wireless store at 7th and Olive downtown. It was open maybe two years, if that. I think there was also a Cingular store across the street; it too has closed.
I just find it rather odd there are no retail cell phone company locations downtown, considering there are probably tens of thousands of cell phone users who work downtown, not to mention several thousand AT&T employees.
Radio Shack, as already mentioned, has locations on Hampton and in Lindell Marketplace. Amazingly, they still have two other stores on the Southside: one in Gravois Plaza just down the way from the Shop N Save (about the only holdover store from the old K-Mart Gravois Plaza), and the other in the now half-empty Chariton Square strip mall on S. Broadway near Meramec St. Those two locations rely heavily on prepaid wireless sales though.