Author: forestparksouthba

About forestparksouthba

Promoting business in the Forest Park South area in St. Louis, MO

Next meeting – Wednesday, 3/11/15 8:30 am

The next meeting for the Forest Park South Business Association is Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30am in Park Central’s office at 4512 Manchester Ave.

We hope to see you all there.

Questions? Email Gelinda: or call 314-262-4082


Paraquad event: AccessibleSTL Wednesday, 3/25

Paraquad invites you to join them at a panel discussion for AccessibleSTL: Creating an Inclusive Culture.

The event will be held Wednesday, March 25, 2015 from 7:30am – 9:00am.  Contact Christy Herzing at 314-289-4264 with questions.

Learn more about the AccessibleSTL program.  Click here.

paraquad invite

FPSBA Perks Program Participant – Cultivate Salon – focused on Natural Hair Care

Cultivate Salon opened in the Grove in April 2013 and is owned by Mother and Son team Lana and Kyle Coleman.   Cultivate focuses on natural hair care and the well being of their clients.

Why did you decide to establish your business in this neighborhood?

Our neighborhood is so eclectic. We value diversity of all kinds, and it’s good to see people from all walks of life cohabitating and participating in the revitalization of this area through business. We feel Forest Park South matches the mantra of our salon so the neighborhood seemed to be a natural, mutual fit for us.

What is your favorite aspect of the business community in Forest Park South?

The camaraderie. We’re fortunate to have other entrepreneurs and staple business owners who aren’t merely “fair weather” friends, but rather people who generally care about your well-being and prosperity. It’s sort of that Midwestern charm. We couldn’t ask for a better group to help further beautify the neighborhood with.

How long have you had your business here?

Almost two years. We opened in April 2013.

outsidecultivate1 alt



What is your mission?

We empower our clients to sustain exceptional, long-term hair beauty and health.

Why did you get into this business?

There aren’t enough outlets to care for the broader spectrum of hair textures in a high quality way. We feel we’re uniquely positioned to fill the gap.

cultivate 2 alt

What is your specialty?

We specialize in “natural” hair care.  That is, we avoid using products and processes linked to hair damage.

What is your business philosophy?

We’re grounded in our core values: exemplary client service, superior hair care, and world-class professionalism. Each day we try to set the bar for what service-oriented businesses should be and then we try to set the bar higher the next day.

What would you like others to know about your business?

Great businesses, especially service-oriented businesses, are built on trust. There’s nothing I can say to compel someone to fall in love with Cultivate – few people “get married at ‘hello.’” My hope is that once people try us out, they’ll come to their own realization that Cultivate an excellent place to make their go-to salon.

What would surprise people most about your business?

Usually surprises in a salon are very unpleasant. We like to keep things as predictable as possible for our clients.

Who are your core customers?

Our core customers are usually women of color ages 17 – 65 who want their hair to look great without the adverse effects of harmful hair products and styling processes that were once commonplace in the not-so-distant past.


Visit Cultivate

1110 Tower Grove Ave., 63110 (The Grove)

Show your Perks card and receive:

10% off any service (excluding hair extensions) for first time customers.  Cannot be combined with any other discount offers.



Winter Luncheon with Guest Speaker Mayor Francis Slay – 2/18/15

Join the FPSBA for the first luncheon of the 2015 season!

Wednesday, 2/18/15 at Tarlton Corporation the Association will welcome

the Honorable Mayor Francis Slay as our guest speaker.

All FPSBA members receive two complimentary admissions –

all tickets held at Will Call.

RSVP with Gelinda Connell at 314-262-4082

or email at to reserve your seat today.

The Gramophone – a 2015 Perks Program Participating business

The Gramophone was founded in March, 2008 by Kim and Andrew “Roo” Yawitz as an intimate live music venue in the Grove.  In April 2014, the Gramophone expanded its offerings to include sandwiches during lunchtime and in the bar during shows.  They recently announced that the location and business model will undergo extensive renovations, closing January 1, 2015 and reopening in early February.  The FPSBA is excited to have them as a participating location for our Perks Program and can’t wait to see what they have in store. We recently sat down with Scott Swanston, General Manager, to learn more about the Gramophone.

scott swanstrom gramophone












What is your favorite aspect of the business community in Forest Park South?

Diversity. There are all different types of foods and diversity in the neighborhood and a lot of comradery between businesses.  The entire neighborhood is growing together.

What is your business mission?

We want to be the neighborhood tavern that occasionally has really good music.  People can expect consistent hours and we will never charge a cover.

What is your specialty?

Sandwiches.  Music will still be a part of us plus we thinking of being a place where you can purchase tickets for other venue’s shows. We aren’t stepping out of the music scene as much as we are stepping into the food scene.  We’re not a restaurant with servers, but a neighborhood tavern that does sandwiches.

Another special component will be retail beer sales – with your sandwich, you’ll be able to come in and get a six pack. Renovations include a giant beer case in the center of the space that will create two rooms.    The large stage will be removed, replaced by a new smaller stage in the corner. We’re installing a 16-foot  knotty pine community table and repurposing few booths.  The space will gain a pool table and steel tip dartboards. We aim to become one of the better neighborhood bars.

Our goal to complete renovations is early February. We will be closed until that time.

gramophone logo new

What draws you to this business?

I have been working in a restaurant or bar since I was 15 and have been everything from a dishwasher to a general manager. I have always loved the freedom and hours  – and the cash when I was younger!  Now I really enjoy the person-to-person interactions you have in a bar.  Unlike staring at a computer screen for 8 hours a day, this is fulfilling to me. I’ve made a lot of friends in this industry and I have had some good relationships coming from it. You meet a ton of people.  I started here as a bartender and became an equity partner in January of last year.

What is the Gramophone’s business philosophy?

It’s always been about personal interactions with the customer and making everyone feel very welcome.  That’s what we focus on. We want you to feel like you are hanging out with your friends.

The Gramophone is very unassuming. The goal has always been to represent diversity in music.  Although good in theory, that didn’t always work – one night you could walk in to a hip-hop show and have 200 people and the next night walk into a jazz show with 50 or vice-versa.  Nobody would know exactly what to expect. We did a great thing for 7 years but we think it’s time to try something else.  A year from now the neighborhood is going to have a completely different feel and we are going to contribute to that.

What would you like others to know about the business?

The Gramophone offers an incredible selection of great beers, a fully stocked bar and some of the best sandwiches in St. Louis.  The sandwiches are going to be even better in the next year.  We will start roasting and seasoning our own meats and doing more in house preparation that will make the experience unique.  In the end, we really just want to offer a delicious, quick sandwich, almost like what you’d experience hanging at your friend’s house. We truly want our customers to feel comfortable. The new hours will be 11:00 am-2:00 am, 6 days a week – we will close on Mondays. We’ll have a happy hour on select days from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm and will offer a late night happy hour for industry folks that goes from 11:00 pm-3:00 am.

What’s your favorite sandwich?

Mississippi Nights Club– turkey, roast beef, bacon, lettuce, onion, tomato.  What makes it special is a bag of Kicker Billy Goat chips crushed into the sandwich and a good dollop of pepper mayonnaise.

We created our sandwich menu with the help of everyone on staff.  We brought in a selection of  ingredients and had everyone create a unique creation.  For instance, the del Cortivo is our bartender Zac delCortivo’s invention.

One of the more distinctive sandwiches we do is the Bloody Island.  It is a Bloody Mary with half a roast beef sandwich on top and stuffed blue cheese olives.  We have even been known to incorporate a pickle wrapped in salami with basil cream cheese and a little beef jerky.  Look for three or four takes on the Bloody Island when we reopen.  We will also offer grilled cheeses and on the new menu, we’ll suggest sandwich and chip pairings.   We’ll give customers the option to order half or full sandwiches and offer more sides, soups and salads.

What would surprise most people about your business?

The wide variety of alcohol and food.  We will increase our beer selection from 60 to 70 beers when we reopen.  The retail beer will be a pleasant discovery for many.  However, the biggest surprise will probably be the renovations – the changes are going to blow people out of the water!

Who are your core customers?

Any walk of life is welcome. That is kind of the vibe of the neighborhood— diverse and as open as possible. We’re looking for the easygoing person wanting to grab a couple beers and something to eat and meet up with friends. There are a lot of destination spots in the Grove to where you’re going to say, “okay I’m going to see this show at Atomic or this show at the Ready Room or this show at the Demo then afterwards I’m going to see this DJ at Handlebar.”  Now you can say, “How ’bout we meet at The Gramophone and figure out what we are going to do for the night?” We want to be the jumping off point of the night.  Maybe you’ll just stay all night – maybe you come back after.

Visit The Gramophone Sandwich and Bottle Shop when they reopen in February–

4243 Manchester Ave., 63110 (The Grove)

Show your Perks card and receive:

15% off your lunch or dinner item


Sameem Afghan Restaurant – Perks Program participant and FPSBA Member

Sameem Afghan Restaurant came to the Grove in 2012 after learning about the district from a friend.  They settled into the space at 4341 Manchester Ave. and quickly became a favorite of visitors to the entertainment district.  In the midst of the expansion of the restaurant, Fahime Mohammad, Owner, took a break to talk to us about his experience in the Forest Park South Business Association area.

sameem facade adj


Why did you decide to establish your business in the neighborhood?

Why not?  We opened in early 2012. We were on South Grand and Guy Slay, a big stakeholder in the neighborhood and a big supporter of Sameem really liked our food.  He was the very first person who told me about the Grove Neighborhood.   He was like, “Why don’t you take a tour? I would love for you to come along and open up a Sameem location in the Grove neighborhood.” That was the very beginning of my exposure to the Grove, and in 2011 we were looking for a place here.  I saw that the LGBT center was for sale.  I got a tour and but it was a little bit outside my buying power. While I was here, I saw the sign on this building – it was up for sale at auction.

What is your favorite aspect of being part of the Forest Park  South business community?

It is a very diverse community, a very friendly community.  It’s a very open minded community, so why not?  It’s a reflection of American culture because nobody is from here but we migrate here somehow for some reason, you integrate  – you are a member of a society.

Why did you get into this business?

My brother and I used to work at the Old Warson Country Club. We started out as bus boys and we worked our way to food runners then waiters, maître’d and finally supervisors. We learned most of our English there and it was kind of like our entry to the American culture. We learned a lot about the restaurant industry. We had a lot of inspiration.  We did that for 14 years. Then I worked at Edward Jones. My background is actually in computer science. You know, I worked there for four years and I noticed the economy changing. My brother told me about a business for sale on South Grand so I told him we would be more successful to merge and to create this business. Officially, this is the only Afghani restaurant in the city. We enjoy the natural monopoly, Fahime notes with a laugh.

What is your specialty?

Hospitality is ingrained in the Afghan Pashtun culture.  We have that as a foundation and it is also the foundation of the restaurant industry. If you’re not hospitable, you’re toying with, like 33 % of your success. We want to make sure each customer gets personal service, make sure they get friendly service. We want to make sure they are satisfied with their service here and that the quantities are filling.

What would you like others to know about your business?

If you want to, come try it for a first time, that’s it! I will give anyone a free appetizer if they mention that this is their first time eating Afghani food.

What is your business philosophy?

To always keep in mind that to manage your business there will always be something somewhere that is going to need attention or to be corrected.  Also, to make sure that employees are happy and that the company culture is friendly.

sameem mixed salad chicken kabobs adj







What is your favorite dish here?

Honestly, it depends what day it is. There is absolutely nothing disappointing on our menu. When I get asked by a customer, I don’t know if I should tell them based on the sales stats or should I tell them I don’t know I say hey, you like spicy or mild? Then I can direct them to something according to their palate. To answer your question – everything! Our best-selling is Chicken Teekah Masala , the Lamb Qabelli, and our Kabobs.

Chicken teekah masala is an Indian dish but we make it different at Sameem. If you go to an Indian restaurant it will be made out of dark chicken meat, in here we make it with white meat, chicken tender loin. We cook the chicken kabob on the grill.  Ours is not as spicy and it doesn’t have too much cream either. The chicken is marinated. Then we pour the chicken masala sauce over it. It comes with rice. The sauce is not too dense and not too creamy

What would surprise most people about your business?

People are surprised when they come in and they see that it is Afghani,  because a lot of people have been mystified by the Afghan culture.  A lot of times, when people don’t know anything about the Afghan culture, they immediately think of Afghanistan… that’s where Bin Laden used to be… that’s where the Taliban used to be … They don’t know that Afghanistan has history since even the first century and we are a country rich in resources.   I think once Afghanistan becomes a peaceful country, people will want to invest in Afghanistan.

Who are your core customers?

People from the Grove and from the business area.  We have a lot of Saudi students and they find us to be their favorite restaurant. We have a lot of students from Wash University and SLU. We have a lot of employees physicians and doctors from Washington University Medical Center. It is very diverse. We have people that learn from newspapers and from Yelp and we have a lot of foodies!  Right now, the Grove is getting a lot of good feedback and development.  Happily, we benefit from that ripple effect.


Visit Sameem Tuesday through Sunday.  Open at 11:30 for lunch.

4341 Manchester Ave., 63110 (The Grove)

Show your Perks Program card and receive:

15% off the purchase of a lunch or dinner item ( not offered on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays)


Welcome GadellNet – new IT firm lands in the Forest Park South Business Association area

Last Thursday, the FPSBA enjoyed the hospitality of GadellNet, a brand new IT firm in the area.  The firm hosted our annual Holiday party in their brand new space at 1520 Vandeventer Ave. in Botanical Heights.  The new office features an on premise CrossFit gym, on site food and drink, over 3,000 square feet of meeting rooms and collaborative spaces, 10 TVs, fire pit, outdoor patio, exposed brick walls, and two kitchens.   FPSBA members UIC, designed and built the new space.

GadellNet is a full-service IT consulting firm, offering clients personalized solutions including desk support, network engineering, business and technology management consulting, application development, and hosted cloud services. GadellNet’s clients are primarily small businesses and educational institutions.

“We moved to the Cortex area for a few reasons, primarily because it gave us a chance to maintain the momentum in growing this vibrant area, but also gave us an affordable way to create a space that we can be proud to call home.” Says Joe Gadell, GadellNet’s founder and President.

We hope you will join us in welcoming GadellNet to the area.

Click here to view the entire Press Release

2015 Membership Drive underway – welcome new members!


The 2015 Membership Drive is underway!

Join brand new members Laclede Cab and Vandeventer Truck Sales PLUS returning members: Mangrove Redevelopment, Just John, Systems Graphic, Area Wide Refrigeration and Classic Metal Craft.

Sign up now and receive two free tickets to the 2014 Holiday Party happening 12/4 at GadellNet Headquarters.

Click here to sign up today.

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