Although its opening date is still up-in-the-air, here's the scoop on Foam, the newest in-the-works venue on Cherokee Street, courtesy of owner/head busboy Mike Glodeck. (Yes, that's its logo!)
Name of establishment: Foam
Address: 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. It's in south city at the corner of Cherokee and Jefferson, behind the big Native American statue and part of the Cherokee Station Business District.
What is Foam exactly? Foam will be a coffeehouse/bar or maybe a coffee/lounge or a microbrewery/espresso venue or a cultural fondue pot. I guess I really don't know what it'll be exactly. I hope to create an environment where people can feel comfortable all day and into the night with music at the core of the experience influenced by well-crafted beverages.
How long has this idea been in the works? I've always had a dream of owning a public place where I can control the ambience and welcome guests and I've been searching for a commercial building for over a year. So I guess the answer is somewhere between one year and forever.
How did it come about? I've rehabbed a few homes in the city and been interested in urban renewal. I wanted to bring a building back that would have a larger impact on its community than just one home. That's why I started looking for the space I now own. When I started looking I really didn't know if it was going to be a bar, event space, coffeehouse or something else. The location kind of told me what it was going to be.
When is your projected opening date? I'd love to be open by this fall, but so many things need to be completed before construction can even begin. In the end I think it'll take about five or six months from the start of construction which should be very soon. We could be looking at the early part of 2008 for an opening.
What did you like about Cherokee Street? I looked on every commercial strip in the city and Cherokee Station, the area of Cherokee West of Jefferson, had the combination of affordability and potential I was looking for. It's got the infrastructure in place and just needs a little assistance to take off. It's a very dense commercial strip that has good proportions, walkability, history and authenticity. You've got places like Globe Drug and Casa Loma that have been there a long time, but also an ethnic population reinventing the area along with an artist contingent that keeps it edgy. I guess what I'm doing is making a bet that it'll be the next hotspot -- or maybe the hotspot after the next hotspot.
What kind of music are you looking to book at the venue? Generally speaking I guess you'd call it indie-rock. Primarily I see it as a local music venue. I want to create an environment where people feel comfortable experimenting and build upon that. It would be fun to try smaller touring acts too. I moved here from Detroit six years ago and still have friends in bands up there that I think would go over well in St. Louis. Maybe we can get a high-speed rail built and shuffle bands back and forth between the two great midwestern cities.
What do you hope to bring to the St. Louis music scene? I'd like to be a nurturing force. There's a lot of talent in St. Louis, but it needs to be watered and fertilized so it can blossom. To create a scene you need a lot of cooperation between bands, patrons and venues, and I hope I can be a part of that.
How can people get more information about the venue? Once construction begins I hope to start a blog on MySpace (myspace.com/foamstl) to keep people informed of the progress or if they are looking for a job they can send a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything else you want to add? I'm looking to set up a community of neighborhood residents and interested parties who want to influence the design, menu, events, etc. of Foam. Sort of an open-source process to urban renewal. If anybody is interested in signing up they can go to http://foam.collectivex.com/ or e-mail me and I'll hook them up. Down the road we hope to have meetings to tour the location, drink tastings and sample some of the possible food. The plan is to allow future patrons to influence the atmosphere ahead of time so there is a better chance for success.