St. Louis Improv Shop Buys Gaslight on the Hill

click to enlarge The Improv Shop has purchased the Gaslight building in order to expand its offerings. - Jessica Rogen
Jessica Rogen
The Improv Shop has purchased the Gaslight building in order to expand its offerings.

The Improv Shop has purchased the Gaslight Studio and Lounge building (4916 Shaw Ave) on the Hill, home to Rock Star Tacos and the Gaslight recording studio. Improv Shop founder Kevin McKernan plans on keeping both recording studio and tacos around.

This purchase comes as business for the Improv Shop has expanded since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. “We have a lot of businesses that use improv as a team-building exercise,” McKernan says. “Now that people are trickling back to the office after being kind of isolated and not feeling like much of a team over the past couple of years, we’re getting a lot of requests for team-building improv workshops.”

Buying the Gaslight building is not only about increasing square footage for the Improv Shop but is also part of his vision for the St. Louis art scene, McKernan explains.

Previous Gaslight ownership centered the space around music, and while McKernan wants to honor that intention, he also wants to add “different arts so it becomes more of an arts hub than just a music hub.” In line with this vision, he plans on building a stage for all types of performers alongside classroom space for improv.

As excited as Kevin is about creating an arts hub at Gaslight, he's equally excited about maintaining its status as a taco hub. “I’m just in love with Rock Star Tacos,” McKernan says. “It’s really well run; the food is delicious, and I think it’s a great addition to the St. Louis food scene. I’m really excited to partner and grow with them.”

McKernan says that the purchase of the Gaslight is an expansion, not a replacement. Fans of the Improv Shop will still be able to grab a drink and catch a show at the current location in the Grove.

About The Author

Julian McCall

Julian McCall is an editorial intern at the Riverfront Times. He studies Environmental Analysis and Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.
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