The Bevo Mill St Louis neighborhood’s name comes from the “Bevo Mill building”, a local landmark that was designed in the style of Dutch and German windmills. The Mill building was built in 1916 to serve as a banquet hall and restaurant by August Busch Sr. The name of the building came, in turn from Bevo the largest brand of near beer or barley malt and hop flavored soft-drink manufactured by the Anheuser-Busch Company. The Bevo area is bordered to the north by Chippewa Street, to the east by old railroad tracks, to the southeast by Morganford Road and Bates Street, to the southwest by Holly Hills Avenue, and to the west by Christy Avenue and Kingshighway Boulevard.
August Busch Sr. envisioned the Bevo Mill after a vacation in Holland. Busch Sr. wanted to construct a European style beer garden in the city of St. Louis. Architects Klipstein and Rothman designed the mill which became a City Landmark in 1971 and is located at 4749 Gravois (approximately halfway between the Anheuser Busch Brewery and Grant’s Farm, August Busch’s home. Mr. Busch used the Mill Room as his private dining room for many years and the remainder of the restaurant was open to the public in 1917.
The windmill is 60 feet in diameter and revolves on a 24 inch shaft extending through a marble bearing. Originally, the blades were wooden and propelled by wind. In 1954, the blades were damaged by a fierce wind, striking the tower. They were replaced by aluminum blades and are now electronically operated. The exterior of the building is finished with specially selected stones of all colors, shapes and textures, personally gathered by Mr. Busch from Grant’s Farm, and set in stucco.
Following the German and Dutch tradition, a pair of storks were mounted on top of the chimney to ensure good luck. The vaulted ceilings of the foyer and Mill Room have groined arches which end in stone-carved gnomes, unusual in design and character.
New Ownership – 2009
In August of 2009 L & M Catering took control of the building from the city of St. Louis. Almost $500,000 has been spent on restoring the historic building as well as bringing many elements up to code. The Mill room that holds many treasures, the painted tile murals and painted gnomes, has had many local craftsmen and artisans restore them and bring them back to life. Downstairs in the Oak Room and Bavarian Room new carpet has been laid, artisan glass replaced and art deco light fixtures recreated to match the others.
The new owners, Milan Manjencich and Louie Lausevich, prepared to take on this major project and set the wheels in motion to host the first event after months of abandonment, hosted dignitaries and media for a Grand Opening on October 14, 2009. Primarily open for private events now, the Bevo has been fortunate enough to have companies, non-profits and individuals with memories of it to keep coming back for holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, meetings and other corporate events.
Although at this time the Bevo is not open as a full time restaurant it still has events open to the public so everyone has a chance to make memories at this gem of a building. Between Sunday Brunches, New Year’s Eve Parties, Holiday Dinners and Murder Mystery Dinners there is something for everyone.
The Bevo Mill area is directly to the west of the neighborhood of Dutchtown that was a center of mass German settlement in St. Louis in the mid 1800s. The area’s population was waning in the 1990s, and in Europe there was a war in the early 90s that drove people from their homes. St. Louis is now home to the largest Bosnian population outside of Europe. The growth of immigrants in Saint Louis has kept the cities declining population at an even level.
Bevo Mill Links:
- The Bevo Mill Resturant
- Bevo Mill – Friday Patio series (RFT)
- St Louis City Talk – Bevo Mill (GREAT RESOURCE!)
- Bevo Mill – Homes for sale
- City Data – Bevo Mill (facts and figures)
- Twitter – Bevo Mill
- Bevo Neighborhood Watch – Facebook
- Bevo Mills schools (3)