Lately, Edwards has been thinking a lot about those early days on Delmar. Should people be scared away from the Loop as a result of recent violence, Edwards — more than anyone — would have the most to lose.

Since founding Blueberry Hill some 30 years ago, the unofficial mayor of Delmar has gone on to open the Tivoli Theatre, Pin-Up Bowl and The Pageant. Last year, the American Planning Association named the Delmar Loop one of the "10 Great Streets in America." This coming April, Edwards will open his biggest Delmar venture yet — the $20 million Moonrise Hotel.

Edwards says he doesn't know what the connection may be between the teenagers and the attacks in and around the MetroLink stations, but he believes public transportation is crucial to the growth and vitality of the city. He also notes that the Galleria and the Delmar Loop are two of just a handful of places in St. Louis where blacks and whites intersect.

"People have made the Loop what it is by embracing diversity," he says.

At a meeting of the Delmar Loop Business Association last week, Edwards asked store owners whether they would be in favor of a teenage curfew like the one at the Galleria and other malls. By a show of hands, Edwards says most people at the meeting voted in favor of a Friday- and Saturday-night curfew beginning at 10 p.m.

"Right now, we're just looking into it," says Edwards. "I'd hoped that it wouldn't come down to this. But then, after 10 p.m., there isn't really a lot for a juvenile to do in the Loop. And we're not going to let a few people ruin it for everybody."

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