Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Starting Point Dierbergs Say Goodbyes to First Store

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Starting Point Dierbergs Say Goodbyes to First Store

Article excerpt

Members of the Dierberg family took a moment for auld lang syne this week with a visit to where their supermarket business began - a building that will be torn down next month.

They shared lunch Monday at what is now the Creve Coeur Inn at 11610 Olive Boulevard - a place once bathed daily in the dust kicked up by passing horses.

The inn served as the starting point for William Dierberg and Dierbergs Markets Inc. But also among its past lives are stints as a stagecoach stop, a saloon, a stable, a general store and a post office.

The building dates to 1854. It was originally called Creve Coeur House or 14 Mile House, because it was 14 miles from the St. Louis City Courthouse. William Dierberg bought the bustling general business - where families came for groceries and traveling work crews found a bed for the night - from H.M. Koch in 1914.

"It's a shame to see that much history go," said Roger Dierberg, a grandson of the founder.

"But we understand the situation," said his cousin, Bob Dierberg.

Bob and Roger Dierberg now head the chain of 14 supermarkets that grew out of their grandfather's country store.

Along with the inn, two other buildings with Dierberg family ties are being razed to make room for a shopping center.

Also to be demolished are the buildings on either side of the inn. The one on the west was built in 1930 as what was then an ultra-modern Dierbergs Market, complete with ice-refrigerated display cases.

On the east, Creve Coeur will lose another landmark, the old Creve Coeur Farmers Bank, at Old Ballas Road and Olive Boulevard. William Dierberg bought the bank around 1910. The banking company has since evolved into First Banks Inc. and is run by another of his grandsons, James F. Dierberg.

The buildings are being replaced by a shopping center called Old Ballas Plaza, said developer Noel Essman, head of Midwest Real Estate Co. Essman owns the property with Richard Schuler, owner of the Creve Coeur Inn, and Gerald Iken, another real estate developer.

Each of the six tenants being displaced by the demolition will move to space in the new center, he said, along with a new anchor tenant, Blockbuster Video. The center, under construction behind the current buildings, is scheduled to be completed about Jan. …

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