Best Local Impresario St. Louis 2013 - Joe Edwards
Joe Edwards is a man who knows what he likes, and over several years of unofficial crowd case studies, it's obvious that he also knows what keeps people coming back — reliability. For more than three decades, Edwards has made the Delmar Loop his laboratory, guiding venues such as Blueberry Hill, the Tivoli Theatre, Pin-Up Bowl and the Moonrise Hotel from simple businesses into landmarks that continue to define the historic yet creative culture of that stretch of Delmar Boulevard. By keeping his finger on the pulse of time, he knows that offering staples such as Chuck Berry in Blue Hill's Duck Room every month, as well as new apartments, grocery stores and a 24-hour diner for incoming college kids and young professionals, will bring in even more visitors. You can feel Edwards' laid-back, knowledgable personality in each of his ventures, and he does it all by phone or in person — never through e-mail, which he shuns. Edwards makes it his business to do his hometown proud and to keep things moving forward by continuing to build on — rather than smash through — its past. And with his plans to bring in a trolley system, the Loop will continue to roll for years to come.