ST. LOUIS – Long before star St. Louisan Cedric the Entertainer had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he’d walk to a North St. Louis bus stop on his way to shop in Jennings.
“I used to catch the 41 Lee River Roads bus baby right there are Kingshighway and Lee and ride it to River Roads mall. That was one of my favorites right there. River Roads Mall They don’t even have that any more. It doesn’t exist,” said Cedric.
Demolished nearly 20 years ago, Cedric’s River Roads remembrances remain. In fact, everyone who shared their mall memories with us expressed a fondness for those gone but not forgotten St. Louis shopping centers.
“Getting on the bus at the Delmar Loop and coming here to Westroads to come to the Stix, Bear and Fuller,” said Diana Lerman.
“Coming to the mall, either Northwest Plaza or St. Louis Centre, looking for an outfit before we go out the club at night,” said Irving Moorehead.
St. Louis Centre closed a little more than 20 years after it opened, but it’s still top of mind for another familiar face.
“I remember Famous Barr, the restaurant there, the candy counter, my mom shopping for jewelry, and you’d go out into the mall to just all your favorite stores.” Said FOX 2’s Jasmine Huda.
For other FOX 2 folks, Crestwood Plaza was the place their mall memories were made.
“It seems like the mall was a place of firsts. I got my first running shoes at the mall, and I got my first record at the mall.” Said FOX 2’s Glenn Zimmerman.
“You’d go to the sporting goods store. You’d get a little older and go into Spencer’s because that was a little bit racy. And if we were really lucky, we’d go across the street and knock on the window at KSHE.” said FOX 2’s Martin Kilcoyne.
In 1960, then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at Crestwood Plaza. A unique moment in the history of a mall that’s now history. Some of that history lives on where the structure once stood. The Villages at Crestwood
Crossing features street names like Woolworth Drive and Exhilarama Court, the latter, an ode to malls old arcade.
St. Louis Galleria was redeveloped and expanded on the original site of Westroads Shopping Center. In 2002, West County Center reopened after major reconstruction. While those malls are still open, one that closed more than a decade ago stands out for many St. Louisans.
“The OG Northwest Plaza,” said Cedric the Entertainer.
“Oh, Northwest Plaza. Got to be. We would catch the St. Charles Rock Rd. bus and go and hang out at the mall from Normandy High School and just have a ball,” said Gernneter Howard.
“The store Merry-go-round, The Tilt. All that. I miss it all, man,” said Corey Howard.
“That’s the first time I got put on with the good colognes. That’s when we started wearing the Polo. And the Kouros. The Drakkar. And the Obsession. Y’all don’t know nothing about that!” added Cedric.
And with the rise of online shopping and changing consumer habits, generations to come may know nothing about the malls their predecessors held dear. But if your jaunt down memory lane includes Jamestown Mall or the South Town Famous, consider yourself in good company.
“That’s St. Louis Malls for you man. Love it,” said Cedric.
We also asked Facebook fans to chime in with their favorite memories of malls around the St. Louis area.