Mayor Slay on Jamieson Ave. Pretzel Vendors: We'll Shut 'em Down If Folks Complain


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If you think St. Louisans don't care about pretzels, good god you're wrong, friend. Sunday night, the Beacon published a feature (2,500+ words!) about the city's recent crackdown on the longstanding tradition of pretzel vending on Jamieson Avenue just south of I-44.

Then yesterday, the Post-Dispatch got the "get" and named names: Joe Kunkel, the 87-year-old fixture on the Fyler Avenue median who has declined press interviews for literally about three decades, finally gave one. That story generated 76 comments and was the site's second most-emailed story yesterday.

And now Mayor Francis Slay has weighed in on his blog, saying that
City inspectors generally have more urgent things to do than chase after octogenarian pretzel salesmen. If no one is hurting anyone, we generally don't enforce minor ordinance violations."

However, he continued:
For whatever reason, the pretzel vendors were getting more and more aggressive. We got complaints from residents that the City was not enforcing the law...If you complain about things like this, we will enforce the ordinances as the Board of Aldermen writes them. If you don't, we probably will not...As for pretzels, I am a customer. I plan to buy one the next time I see a vendor. You should do the same. Or don't.

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