Following my recent return visit to St. Louis, I decided one thing: The Foundry is an exciting new addition to the city and I want one in my hometown. But, since that’s unlikely to happen in the near future, I’ll have to settle with loving on The Foundry St. Louis. It’s essentially a hub for entertainment, food, and shopping making The Foundry an ideal destination for curious travelers seeking unforgettable memories.
Disclosure: I attended a FAM tour of St. Louis hosted by Explore St. Louis and the Gateway Arch and Riverboats. All thoughts, opinions and tours are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.
At The Foundry, there is a ton of exciting activities and attractions to keep visitors of all interests entertained. Dine at the Food Hall or enjoy a glass of wine (and maybe a concert) at City Winery. Play a fun round at the Puttshack or watch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. And many of the boutiques can’t be found anywhere else – there are several locally-owned shops at The Foundry.
Introduction to The Foundry
You’ll find the 15-acre site of The Foundry in Midtown St. Louis, not far from St. Louis University and attractions like the St. Louis Science Center, Forest Park, and the Armory STL. It’s conveniently near Interstate 64.
The main building of The Foundry was built in the 1920s, and as the name suggests, it was a foundry. Airplane parts were manufactured there, among other items that were sold internationally. Rather than do away completely with the old, the visionaries behind The Foundry kept many pieces from the past and repurposed them. Be sure to look for these pieces – they range from benches to ceiling fixtures.
There are currently 18 bars and restaurants at The Foundry, 17 retailers that all have St. Louis roots and connections, and more than 60 arts & cultural organizations call the area home.
Exploring the Foundry: A first-time visitor’s guide
If you’re not from St. Louis (and I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you are not), then one of the first things you’ll realize is that it’s huge. It’s sprawled out. And knowing that, I’m happy to say the location of The Foundry is great for us out-of-towners. It sits right by Interstate 64. So if you’re driving yourself, it’s fairly easy to reach. And as a bonus, parking is free at The Foundry.
Note: Here’s where all the free parking lots are in the area:
- The multi-level garage on the north side of the property off of Forest Park Parkway
- The lot on the west side of the property near the Vandeventer Avenue entrance
- The Spring Street lot on the southeastern side of the property (just west of Spring Street)
- Along Forest Park Avenue outside of the garage
The Foundry also is accessible by public transportation. It’s about a .6-mile walk from the Grand MetroLink station and a 0.8-mile from the Cortex MetroLink Station. The Foundry is closest to stops on the No. 10, No. 42, No. 70 or No. 410X MetroBus routes.
The Foundry is a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, and there will be times you’ll have to walk outdoors to get to some areas. The outdoor areas at The Foundry are great, though, so if the weather is nice while you’re there, enjoy the landscaped spaces.
Good eats and dining experiences at the Food Hall
I’m not embarrassed to write this: The food was my favorite part about The Foundry. First, all kitchens in the Food Hall are local or regional restaurants and chefs. Second, you can find food from around the world there. Go with a big group so you can share food.
There are currently 17 kitchens at Food Hall (they added one more since my visit). Think of it as an incubator for start-ups, though some are bonafide favorites in the city. Some of the food I tried on my visit:
- Oxtail at Chez Ali
- The ancient grain bowl at Good People
- The four cheese pizza from Fordo’s Killer Pizza (with some honey drizzled on it). It’s worth noting that James Beard Award winner, Gerard Craft, is behind Fordo’s success.
- The Elvis Waffle from Press Waffle Co.
- Homemade tortilla chips and guacamole from Sur Este
- Toasted ravioli from Toasted
- Chicken fingers with honey mustard dipping sauce from Chicken Scratch Rotisserie
- Soft serve sweet cream with sprinkles galore topping from Poptism (they also had a ton of unique flavors of popsicles)
I’ve heard that the Food Hall will eventually get a kid’s corner, though I don’t know what that will entail. My hope is that it’s a fun little space for kids to play while parents eat.
You can also get food at Putt Shack, Alamo Drafthouse, and City Winery. There’s also a Fresh Thyme grocery store at The Foundry.
Shopping and Souvenir Hunting
I was given an hour to shop, and alas, it was not long enough to really get a good feel of all the unique boutiques at The Foundry. There’s some cute stuff there, for sure.
Looking for apparel or gifts, be sure to visit procure, a store that highlights women-owned and mostly local brands, as well as Golden Gems. There are stylish clothes in Boheme Boutique and vintage goodies at May’s Place, too. If you’re sneaker crazy, don’t miss Sanctioned Sneaker Collective.
Other stores carry skin care and wellness items, home decor, and a bike shop. The Vacancy Gallery highlights St. Louis street art. If you’re looking for gifts for kids, stop by Polished Prints.
Just about a block away from The Foundry area is Ikea. I only mention this because I come from an Ikea-less city and it always seems to excite people like me when we see one.
Entertainment and Nightlife
By day, The Foundry is great for all ages, but at night, it’s for the grown-ups. And that’s totally fine by me. The entertainment highlight in The Foundry is the unique Puttshack, a new brand of TopGolf that’s their riff on putt putt. It’s super fun as a group and I saw kids’ birthdays trickling in as my group was about to leave; but after 8 p.m., know that it’s adults only.
Like TopGolf, your points are tracked that day (and beyond if you revisit), and you can score extra points by getting trivia answers correct, hitting odd putting targets, and well, just by luck too. It’s kind of competitive if you’re watching the leaderboard on the screen, but for the most part, it’s just fun. The music is loud. There are food and drink options. It definitely doesn’t feel like minigolf.
Another big draw to The Foundry is City Winery. St. Louis is the smallest city you’ll find this national brand in at the moment. While it’s obvious that you can enjoy wine at the City Winery (as well as food), the venue also serves as an intimate concert venue and comedy hall. They have had national touring artists perform there.
In addition to the Puttshack and City Winery, other entertainment options include Alamo Drafthouse and Sandbox Virtual Reality.
Weekly events at The Foundry
- Thursdays: Trivia Night is every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Food Hall. It’s free and you don’t need to register in advance to play.
- Fridays & Saturdays: Live music by local artists is hosted every Friday and Saturday night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Food Hall.
Explore more of St. Louis
I think The Foundry truly has something for everyone. Those of us who love to eat will enjoy exploring the many food options at the Food Hall. Plus, there are plenty of interesting shops and fun places for play at any age.
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