After we finished our burgers, floats and root beer’s we moved on to the second purpose of our Castaways’ lunch, which was to visit the tribute to Saint Louis’ rock legend Chuck Berry.
This greater than life-sized sculpture is located in the greenway next to Fitz’s outdoor dining area. It shows the rock legend in his classic performing pose.
The official dedication of the sculpture won’t be until Friday, July 29, so they haven’t finished work on the grounds and landscaping. But the statue is quite impressive.
The pavement around the work is engraved with the lyrics of some of his classic rock tunes.
Fittingly, the sculpture is located across the street from Blueberry Hill Restaurant, Bar and Entertainment Center … also known as the official home of Chuck Berry and ROCK AND ROLL! He still performs there once a month and you can visit the Duck Room which was named for him.
As you might imagine, the tribute and the sculpture have drawn protests from a number of people who object to his life style and past transgressions. But, that’s to be expected in the world of rock and roll.
And one more thing, the Loop Association is currently working on a project to return the Trolleys to the Loop. The new Trolley Line will run from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park to the Lion’s Gate in the Delmar Loop.
Fitz’s was originally just a drive-in hamburger stand in the Saint Louis suburb of Richmond Heights and the root beer for which they were known was first brewed in 1947 to be served along with the burgers and fries.
In 1993 Fitz’s was reborn in an old bank building that in the 70’s and 80’s had been home to the Lantern House Chinese Restaurant — another favorite dining spot of the Castaways that was renowned for its classic Chinese banquets for parties of twelve.
The interior went from faux imperial China to faux fifties art deco.
And a circa 1940 bottling line was added so the diners could watch their favorite beverages being bottled as they dined.
The start of the bottling line … the bottles are then filled and capped.
And then flipped and given a bath to wash off any overflow. Since the bottling line can turn out a bottle of soda every second the bottle movement in the photo is somewhat blurred. In addition to the classic 1940s root beer, Fitz’s also bottles a full line of retro sodas.
But enough of the manufacturing end … it’s time to taste the product.
Naturally, some of the Castaways immediately turn to this page of the menu …
Friday, the Castaways Lunch Bunch got together for one of our monthly (give or take a couple of weeks) lunch outings. The Castaways are a group of creative people who worked together in the advertising department of a major shoe corporation for what seemed like several lifetimes. In spite of or because of that we still get together for lunch on a regular basis to reminisce and gossip. This month we braved the century mark heat wave to visit the Delmar Loop for lunch.
The Delmar Loop got its name because streetcars carrying workers from downtown Saint Louis to their homes in what soon would be called suburbs would turn around on the loop before heading back into the city. Because of its proximity to the Washington University campus is soon became a local entertainment and shopping center.
Today the LOOP is recognized as one of the most popular streets in the country. Here’s a few photos of the LOOP …
TO BE CONTINUED …