ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis area destination venue is celebrating 50 years Thursday.
Thousands have “found their thrill” at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. The one-of-a-kind venue, where people can connect over the universal language of music, kicked off the revitalization of the Delmar Loop. The owner is duck walking with joy and said he put his heart and soul into Blueberry Hill.
Joe Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill, said he is not quite the singer, but he gave a little sample of the song that is a theme at Blueberry Hill. It all started with Edward’s huge collection of memorabilia and music. He has been a collector since he was two years old, taking home rocks and shells.
“I’ll open a place, program the jukebox around, and change the selections every two weeks except for the song, Blueberry Hill,” Edwards said.
In 1972, Edwards’ 30,000 records got rolling on the jukebox. It was a slow start, but it led to expansions from two tiny storefronts to the whole city block.
“I think it became well known in St. Louis and then throughout the country because people can come here and put their troubles behind for a couple of hours and enjoy life,” Edwards said.
He made special efforts to make the venue welcoming for everyone by banning anyone causing trouble.
The place was rocking, and back in the day you could get up close and personal with the Father of Rock and Roll. Edwards developed a close relationship with Chuck Berry, who he said had a comical way with vocabulary like no other.
“Do you know, Joe, I’d like to play in a place the size the one that I played when I first started out,” Edwards explained Berry told him. “We looked at each other for a split second and said let’s do it.”
Live from Blueberry Hill, St. Louis’s own iconic Chuck Berry did the duck walk in a legendary concert series of 209 intimate shows.
“Chuck Berry, the Father of Rock ‘n Roll, the first person inducted into the Hall of Fame!” Edwards said. “Ed Sheeran who is one of the biggest stars on the planet played an afternoon concert here.”
The star-studded list goes on. There are photos of everyone from Tina Turner, Beyonce, and Nelly, to former United States presidents.
Though the walls are plastered with pictures of superstars who have performed there, enjoyed pop culture, or famous burgers. It’s an environment showing people from all walks of life a good time.
“People know each other here. It is like a neighborhood pub that is internationally known,” Edwards said.
Blueberry Hill not only stands the test of time. The venue was the beginning of a bustling street and is the epicenter of the eclectic Delmar Loop.
“So much so that now it has been designated one of the ten greatest streets in America by the American Planning Association,” Edwards said.
That is only one of many accolades the venue has received.
Despite its success, Edwards has kept this collector’s heaven near and dear to his heart and his home by refusing to sell when the opportunity came.
“A couple of years ago, rich people came in and said we are going to open another one in Denver,” Edwards said. “I said, no, get out.”
The thrills Continue right here in the metro area only.
It’s been 50 years of family fun, first dates, parties, weddings, and even the longest-running dart tournament in North America.
“I’m very proud of it if you can’t tell,” Edwards said.
The music, pop culture memorabilia, food, and brews continue to bring St. Louis together and create thrills at Blueberry Hill.
“I love the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind place,” Edwards said. “You will not find any place else like it in the country.”