Have you been to Cherokee Street lately? If it's been a couple years or even a couple months, and you happened on the neighborhood on Friday night, you might have been a bit blinded. Blank Space, down by Apop Records, was hosting the release show for the new Family Affair project. A couple blocks down, 2720 Cherokee had British dubstep star Emalkay and several hundred of his supporters. Too Hip Comedy brought Eddie Pepitone to Foam Coffee & Beer and packed the place.
That's a hell of a Friday Night pulse for any stretch of six blocks, much less this particular stretch, which, although possessed of a vibrant and storied past, has seen its share of hardships in the last couple decades.
But the biggest commotion was not at Foam or 2720 or Blank Space. No, that surprisingly competitive title went to the grand opening of a shotgun bar at 2635 Cherokee. The well-wishers spilled out of the building onto the street, where they gathered under an old tile marquee with a branch holding an orb next to the words Fortune Teller Bar.
The marquee way predates its current proprietors -- the space was home to a bar and actual fortune telling business as recently as the '90s. Thomas Crone provided an excellent first-hand history in the St. Louis Beacon, if you're interested in some more context.
The owners of the new Fortune Teller Bar have put plenty of elbow grease into the place already. Sam Coffey, Matt Thenhaus and Kristin Dennis renovated the building, obtained the necessary permits and licenses and spread the word all without the aid of any kind of grants or crowd-sourced funding. And on Friday their sweat equity started to turn liquid. We asked photographer Jarred Gastreich to ditch his DSLR for the night and instead turn to the many filters of Instagram. His view, from just after 8:30 p.m. to just before closing time, is below. Follow him at jgexposures.