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Sep 02, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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(UPDATED) The Scoop: Taste of St. Louis to move to Chesterfield

March 3rd 11:03am, 2014

030314_TasteOfSTL

Update: Earlier today, The Scoop reported that organizers of 2014 Taste of St. Louis will relocate the annual food festival from downtown to Chesterfield. Since publication, Taste of St. Louis’ K. Sonderegger spoke with The Scoop about the decision to move the festival to West County.

K. Sonderegger, Taste of St. Louis’ co-director and marketing director, said the new space in Chesterfield would allow for a more “food-centric” event. “We really want to ramp it up his year,” she said. “Our goal is to bring in heavy hitters from Food Network, Bravo and Cooking Channel. What was neat about Chesterfield is the permanent amphitheater space.”  Sonderegger said this venue will allow for ticketed shows distinct from free events at Taste.

Sonderegger said she does not feel Taste of St. Louis is abandoning downtown, where the event has taken place since its inception 10 years ago. “We have always tried to be the best regional food event there is,” she said. “It’s not abandoning downtown. It gives us an opportunity to be more regional.” She explained Taste organizers want the festival to be “geographically diverse” and to offer a variety of food from diverse cuisines.

Some Taste of St. Louis attendees used the MetroLink to get to the festival downtown; Sonderegger said she does not believe transportation will pose a problem for fairgoers attending this year’s event. “You can take the MetroLink and then take the MetroBus to get out to the county. And it is a 20-minute drive from downtown St. Louis,” she said.

Though still working out the details, Taste organizers anticipate that 30 to 35 restaurants will participate in Restaurant Row. “Every year we have restaurants that don’t participate for one reason or another,” Sonderegger said when asked if she expected former Restaurant Row venues not to participate because of the new location. “I think this year will be as good as any other year.”

The original version of this post is below.

Organizers of Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are moving the annual culinary festival westward to Chesterfield. Previously held downtown at Soldiers’ Memorial, the 10th annual Taste of St. Louis will take place Sept. 19, 20 and 21 at Chesterfield’s Central Park and Chesterfield Amphitheater.

According to a press release, the new location offers a permanent, stadium-style stage “to showcase culinary talent from across St. Louis and around the country, enhancing the visitor experience.” The release also states that an expanded lineup of restaurants from St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Southern Illinois and beyond will make for a “more geographically-diverse Restaurant Row.”

Also new at this year’s Taste, chefs will be encouraged to showcase their most unique signature culinary creations. Visitors will be able to use smartphones and tablets to vote for the winning dish, which will be named Taste of St. Louis Best Bite.

As in prior years, Taste will showcase national culinary stars from Food Network, Cooking Channel and Bravo, and offer beer and wine tasting experiences, concerts, an artist area and a family area.

Requests for comment from Taste organizers were not immediately returned.

 

 

 

By Ligaya Figueras

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18 Responses to “(UPDATED) The Scoop: Taste of St. Louis to move to Chesterfield”

  1. Scott Perdue Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I’m pretty excited about the move. Chesterfield’s Central Park is beautiful and, as a resident of O’Fallon, I will definitely be going this year. I’ve gone once before when it was held at the Soldier’s Memorial and wouldn’t have gone again if it weren’t in Chesterfield.

  2. Craig Brown Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Boo

  3. bob Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Then, don’t call it Taste of St.Louis. ‘Cause Chesterfield ain’t no St.Louis. No matter how hard they try.

  4. Andy Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Why don’t they call it “Taste of Chesterfield: Bland, Tasteless and Boring.”
    Can’t have a city of St. Louis if people are too biggoted / scared to come into it.

  5. Dawn Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    lame – most of the businesses are in the city or close enough – will the restaurant line up change to meet the needs of west county residents? Do you think that some of the restaurants will decline heading that way? I’m pretty sad that it will not be in the city, and I fear attendance may be down this year because of it. It’ll be interesting to see it all pan out.

  6. Michelle Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    To the negative comments about the new location for the Taste of St Louis event in Chesterfield give it a chance. Remember many of the participating restaurants are not in City of St Louis. So maybe it should be called a taste of St Louis County…just saying.

  7. Michael Mahler Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    This makes no sense. Not a fan. As a lifelong resident of St. Louis, I find this insulting.

  8. Mike Lutke Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Have there been problems with crime, etc? Or is this a money issue where the city is charging exorbitant fees? Or is this an issue of suburbanites not wanting to attend festivals in the city? I’m just wondering. I was at Taste of St. Louis a few years back and I had a great time and it seemed well attended. The organizer’s comment about making it being more “geographically diverse” doesn’t pass the smell test.

  9. Mary Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    No, it is Taste Of St. Louis…..not Taste of Chesterfield. Chesterfield is a wonderful city that has many great venues and attributes of its own. It is a shame that the city has lost this event. I know it may have been troublesome with the construction, but there is so much to be proud of Downtown and we need to keep our pride in each of our cities and counties and support them all. Such a shame. I will support Chesterfield with another event. I will be boycotting. I will support the vendors by enjoying their restaurant on another date and time.

  10. John Ginsburg Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    It’s easy to rip on this for City-loving reasons (of which I have many). However, there is a practical element that will be missed: I’ve noticed many times that people who are already downtown for some other event “stumble upon” the Taste and are then wow-ed with the cool food and music scene STL has. That will be completely erased, as the new location forces it to be a destination in and of itself. I think attendance will sharply decline overall.

  11. Lindsay Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    While it’s sad to see Taste of St. Louis leave downtown, the event’s new home in Chesterfield could be a connecting factor between the city and county. It will bring culinary diversity to West County (although that area offers more range in food options than commenters seem to believe) that in turn could drive major county traffic into the city.

  12. Luke Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Whats more geographically diverse about Chesterfield than Downtown? And I think the word meant here was culturally (but even less accurate given the location).

  13. Miranda Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Travel 30 minutes, sure. Travel 50 minutes one way to visit 35 restaurants? No thanks. Plus, public transportation is not that timely nor convenient from downtown to Chesterfield. Good thing there are other things to do around here.

  14. Susan TeStroete Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I am disappointed with this decision. I have no issue with Chesterfield and I agree the amphitheater is a nice venue. That said, I do not think the venue is at all conducive to parking or traffic flow. If my recollection serves me correctly there is one road to access the venue. I also think it is unconscionable to plan an event that is not accessible by public transportation, yeah I know someone mentioned a random Metro bus, but there are no buses running on Friday or Saturday night. Hey, maybe that’s the point! I loved attending this event in the past but I will be passing on the trip to Chesterfield in 2014.

  15. Imran Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Next, we should move the Taste of Clayton to Webster Groves. Coz, you know, we need to be more …..uuh,,,,,regional …..that’s it! (eye roll)

  16. John Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Terrible decision. Should call it “Taste Of Gumbo Flats”. Guess you can visit all the strip malls!

  17. A. R. Says:
    March 3rd, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I am a big fan of the Taste of St. Louis and have been attending/ participating for eight years. Although this change of location may come as shock to many, I am totally confident that it will be an amazing year and another stellar event. The leaders of TSL have proven time and time again to be extremely motivated and knowledgeable with how to host an such unforgettable event. I only hope that St. Louis and beyond can realize what a blessing it is to have people so dedicated to providing us with the Taste of St. Louis.
    I am thankful for the other Taste of St. Louis fans who are embracing this new, exciting change. This is a wonderful opportunity to have unity within St. Louis city and county, and to continue breaking down the segregation and discrimination between them.
    To all the true fans of the Taste of St. Louis, I look forward to seeing you there this fall!

  18. Olivia Says:
    March 4th, 2014 at 6:59 am

    I will not go to this now. Too bad, it used to be one of my favorite events of the year. When I think of the reasons people don’t like Saint Louis, I think Chesterfield is probably close to the top of the list. Terrible move. It will change the feel and the original purpose of the event.

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