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Loop Business District President Calls Demise of Brandt's Cafe 'Unfortunate'

Jessica Bueler, president of the Loop Special Business District, says as a second generation business owner she empathizes with Adam Brandt.

The president of the Loop Special Business District says it's "unfortunate" to hear that it's doors after 25 years. 

"As a second generation business owner, I can empathize with (Brandt's Cafe owner) Adam Brandt in the difficulty of transitioning the family business from one family member to another," Jessica Bueler told University City Patch via email. Bueler has owned  for four years.  The store was founded 37 years ago by her late father.

"It's unfortunate that Brandt's was not able to continue to operate profitably after the transition," said Bueler.

Brandt's closure was first announced on the venue's Facebook page. According to The Riverfront Times the message read: 

Unfortunately ... Brandt's Café is closed.
The Loop has been declining steeply over the past two years, and has only gotten worse in recent months.

In an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Adam Brandt  blamed crime in the Loop for his businesses demise. However, Bueler rebuffed that claim, suggesting instead that outside forces had very little to do with Brandt's decline.

"I do not think that anything other than management issues attributed to the closing of this establishment," said Bueler.

When University City Patch walked by Brandt's Cafe on Wednesday there was a for lease sign on the front window, touting the location as a prime spot.

Scott R. June 09, 2011 at 06:40 PM
I, too feel that Brandt's was more the victim of a business plan that did not evolve with a changing market rather than external factors. I've been a patron of the Loop for several years and have not witnessed anything like a "steep decline". Let's see an article analyzing how Brandt's "product" fit the average Loop patron.
Holston Black Jr. June 09, 2011 at 08:30 PM
I have noticed Riddle's and now Brandt's and probably some others ( I must admit I have not frequented the LOOP in many years) go out of business which leads me to believe something more than bad management is going on. The main reason I don't frequent the LOOP is traffic congestion, driving through, it's difficult to find any business unless it's located like Cicero's. I, and many others take other streets to avoid this area, with the addition of the trolley it will be worse. I maintain, with additional moneys to that already set aside for the trolley, a BRIDGE can be built. This would let the traffic along with the trolley system flow over Delmar and provide for a unique pedestrian mall. The pedestrian mall can be provided with the latest in surveillance, lights, heaters for winter and fans for summer. The increase in business from all the new places that would open, would pay for the money needed. This requires a lot of forward thinking but that's what's needed with our economy in the tank and lack of jobs. 24/7 openness will accomodate a lot of people and new life for an ICON.
Paul Gill June 09, 2011 at 09:02 PM
I agree traffic is a bear through the loop. I find myself avoiding going through it as well. I don't know the answer, but adding a trolley doesn't seem like a viable solution to alleviate traffic, nor bring new consumers into the area. What are you thinking we connect with a bridge Holston? I like the forward thinking!
Lydia Long June 09, 2011 at 09:56 PM
I miss Riddles enormously--and Brandts as it used to be--but not Brandt's as it has been in the recent past. When I ate there about a month ago, the atmosphere was sleazy, the food poor, and the service shabby. Let's hope a good restaurant moves in to this great neighborhood.
Scott R. June 10, 2011 at 01:56 PM
It would be great to see Joe Edwards or members of the special business district joining in this discussion. As a replacement for Brandt's I vote for a wine and cheese shop that also serves wine and appetizers/desserts. I'd frequent a place like that.
Kim June 10, 2011 at 02:26 PM
We ate at Brandt's once after the changeover, and didn't see any good reason to go back. As to their business suffering because of a declining atmosphere in the Loop - try getting a table at Pi on a Saturday night. Or any night, for that matter.
Joe June 29, 2011 at 04:09 AM
Brandt's didn't get recognized by the President, or at least the owner didn't make up a story about the President saying it's his favorite pizza. Yeah right. However, they are busy and that is the only reason. The pizza is sub par and it is poory ran with owners who love themselves more than the business. Brandt's was poorly managed, bottom line.
BillyFrank Thornton July 01, 2011 at 07:01 AM
I knew when Ed Bernstein's Pool Hall closed and Blueberry Hill moved in...it would be only a matter of time when business would decline.

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