Gringo Jones closing after 25 years


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – It’s known for its unique items and eclectic vibe, as well as its boxers, we’re talking about the hot dogs. But after 25 years, Gringo Jones Imports is selling its iconic property in the Shaw neighborhood.

There are 10,000 square feet of eclectic treasures from Mexico handpicked by Gringo Jones owner Leon Jones in the building.

“Actually, before I started this I had a hair shop in Webster for 24 years. Every year I would close the shop for a week during Valentine’s and take everybody to Cancun or Porta Vallarta, or someplace nice in Mexcio,” said Leon Jones. “I would see all these things and think, ‘If I could figure out how to get these things back here, I bet they would sell.'”

He did figure how to get them back to St. Louis. In the 25 years he’s been in business he’s made over 150 trips to Mexico to buy products and transport them back in more than 530 semi trucks.

Jones loves selling unique, hand picked items from his iconic location at Shaw and Vandeventer, next to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Now, he says the time has come to hang up his sombrero and put his property up for sale, lock, stock, and gargoyles.

“I’m almost 74 and I’m from southern Illinois. I want to get closer to home,” said Jones.

So, what happens to the thousands and thousands of items?

“Well, I don’t know where you live but I could fill your front yard in no time,” said Jones.

Not sure what my neighbors might think but, others may like that idea.

Until this property sells, Jones will keep on running the shop under the watchful eye of these fellas his dogs Darryl and Darryl. They have their own fan club.

The building is for sale with or without the merchandise, buyers choice. Meanwhile, Jones says he may find property down in southern Illinois and open up a smaller similar shop.

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