Downtown St. Louis adjusting to life without baseball crowds

St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals have always been a big part of the summer scene in St. Louis. The team’s immediate future includes some uncertainty after Monday’s news that 7 players and 6 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s quiet, very quiet,” said downtown worker Edward Smith.

He said the combination of COVID-19 concerns and a lack of major sporting events downtown have created a very different feel. On the door of the downtown TGI-Fridays is a sign that reads, “We are closed temporarily.”

“I’ve been down here 7 years know and I’ve never seen it this quiet,” said Katilynne Danielewicz, daytime manager for Caleco’s Bar and Grill. The restaurant has managed to stay open and is still providing dine-in and carry-out options 7 days a week.

“Business has been slow but it’s still good,” said Larett Jolliff, a server at Caleco’s. “We generally have our restaurant packed right about now but unfortunately we can’t due to the virus.”

Some restaurants have seen a dramatic shift in customers wanting to dine-in versus ordering carry out.

“The carryout business is a lot more now than it was before,” said Tosha Simmons, Caleco’s server and manager.

Downtown resident Marcellene Essex said she still sees crowds along Washington Avenue during the weekend but says other parts of downtown remain quiet.

“I think a lot of people are still adjusting to the situations but a lot of them wish they could go back to work like myself,” she said.

Essex works at Busch Stadium and is hoping for a day when baseball can return.

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