Yes, that old building you've long driven by has new life.
We've got a suggestion for this weekend: Skip the brunch and drink your mimosas while doing what you really want to do ... shop. Drinking and antiquing is something that we totally didn't know we needed, but we definitely do.
And for that, may we recommend the Manhattan Antique Marketplace (10431 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann; 314-733-5285)
? The huge indoor space is much more than an antique mall. It's an antique mall that contains an indoor farmers market, café and event space. A tap room and commissary kitchen will open on site this summer.
And did we mention the alcohol? While browsing for treasures, you can enjoy mimosas, wine or beer from the on-site café, although seating is also available if you want to pause instead of press on. Snacks like chips and donuts from nearby Sweet Spot Cafe are available for purchase as well.
The marketplace — known as MAM, and pronounced like "ma'am" — opened its doors in December in the old National and Kroger building. The giant brick building stood vacant for a decade before the Greater Missouri Builders gave it a makeover and brought it back to life.
With its main office in St. Charles, the Greater Missouri Builders was originally a residential construction company. After the 2008 recession, its owners decided to focus on commercial properties. Now companies including Aldi and Planet Fitness rent out their buildings from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Litchfield, Illinois.
MAM is the company's first development, and judging by the buzz making its way back to neighborhoods far from its north county home, it's been a big success.
The antique mall covers more than 20,000 square feet of space and is broken down into about 180 booths, cases, and kiosks. To be a vendor, you must fill out an application and be selling something old, hand-made or collectible. Spaces are rented on a monthly bases. The checkout process is easier than most antique malls because each item has a scannable barcode that connects directly to the seller.
That's not all. Hidden behind large red theater curtains, you can find the 7,000-square-foot event space.
"It will not only cater to social gatherings, but accommodate a multitude of smaller niche events, including craft demos and classes, exhibitions of specialized collections, pop-up shops, appraisal and identification days, presentations by local experts, and monthly auctions," the owners explain in a press release.
And then there's the indoor farmer's market. Located in the front of MAM for easy access, it sells a large variety of produce and packaged foods including a revolving selection of handmade pickles, pickled vegetables, spices, sauces, salsas, nut butters
, jams and
jellies. They can't seem to keep the peach salsa on the shelves,
a company rep says. Many people come in, buy the peach salsa, and leave.
The “back-of-house” contains an artist workshop, storage units for vendors, and a commissary kitchen for food trucks that is
still in the works.
This is also the area of the complex that the taproom and nano brewery will call home. The company rep says they're looking to announce an in-house brewery shortly. Both indoor and outdoor seating will be available.
Yes, it's a lot to wrap your head around. In the words of its owners, "Manhattan Antique Marketplace really is more than just a mall…it’s a city!" And also a great reason to leave the city and visit the county, if only for a lazy weekend morning.
The Manhattan Antique Marketplace is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scroll down for more photos.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story referred incorrectly to the status of the nano brewery inside MAM. There is not yet one that has been announced. We regret the error.
Lady Liberty greets you at the front door.