By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
When we last spoke of the forthcoming Pageant Theater, Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards' latest project, the plan was for the new live music venue to be open by November 1999. Well, here we are, like magic, in November 1999, and the only evidence of any sort of construction at the location is a lumbering yellow bulldozer ("It's not ours though, unfortunately," laughs Edwards. "I wish it were."). No construction. No premier live venue. No nothing.
"It looks as if groundbreaking could actually take place in December," says Edwards, who is partnering on the project with Pagan Music's Patrick Hagin, "and that sometime in probably early- to midsummer it will actually open." Citing the inevitable holdups of such an endeavor (when we first reported on the Pageant in the late spring, Edwards said that a November opening date was overly optimistic), Edwards is still obviously excited and says that the finished product will be "a premier concert venue."
A refresher: The Pageant will be built from the ground up, east of Skinker on the north side of Delmar, just west of the Delmar MetroLink station (northeast of Church's Fried Chicken, due north of White Star Clothing, southeast of the Taco Bell on Skinker, just east of that funeral home -- you follow us?). It's the space once occupied by the Wabash Triangle Cafe.
The venue, planned to hold more than 1,000 souls, is being designed for optimum viewing pleasure. The floor will be tiered, so the diminutive among you will be able to see just as well as the humongous (thereby rendering moot the grand plan we have of an across-the-board St. Louis Assigned Seating Schedule, which will dictate where a person can stand in a bar solely on the basis of his or her height -- shorter in front, taller in back; more on this later), and Edwards and Hagin are designing it with nice sightlines and, joy of joys, a balcony. "Everyone will be relatively close to the stage," adds Edwards. "It should be real good both for performers and for music fans.
Send all local tapes, tips, discs and detritus to "Radar Station," The Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130; e-mail: radarstation@ rftstl.com.