ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The new owners of the Bevo Mill restaurant are in the final stretch of their nearly year-long effort to renovate the century-old landmark in south St. Louis.
The signature windmill at the corner of Gravois and Morganford is visible from blocks away in any direction, and of course owners Pat and Carol Schuchard knew well enough not to mess with that.
It will be a restaurant, music venue, public and private event hall, a biergarten and even a bed-and-breakfast.
But Pat Schuchard says they are tweaking the famous name just a bit.
“It’s called Das Bevo,” he revealed to KMOX News during our recent visit for a behind-the-scenes look at the rehab effort. “It will always be the Bevo Mill to people in St. Louis, but we’re calling it Das Bevo, ‘the Bevo.'”
The idea, Schuchard says, is to create a cross-generational appeal that will please longtime Bevo Mill fans while also attracting new customers.
“We want to bring in a lot of young people,” he says. “A lot of young people are moving to this area, a lot of people already know it with places like the Heavy Anchor and the Silver Ballroom, and they’re buying houses down here. But we really want to appeal to a broad demographic.”
In 2016, the Schuchards were chosen by the city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) to rehab and reopen the restaurant, which had been sitting empty since a catering firm moved out last June.
That made for some nasty surprises when they first took ownership of the building.
“Pigeons had gotten in through a grate up there,” Schuchard said, pointing toward the roof. “You can imagine the mess. We have air handlers up there basically the size of a pick-up truck that were full of pigeon droppings and nests and everything else.”
The Schuchards have spent roughly $1.5 million on the project, having received about $500,000 in tax abatements from the city after the Schuchards discovered the building’s HVAC system was totally kaput.
The first step, according to Schuchard, was to restore some of the original luster that had been covered up by previous owners.
For instance, the floor in the main hall upstairs.
“This is original rookwood art pottery tile,” Schuchard pointed out during a tour of the renovations. “It had been covered for the last 30 years with glue and carpeting.”
He says they’re modernizing the restaurant while also keeping much of the old-world charm in place, like the huge fireplace covered with oversized steins and the hand-carved human figures along the walls.
“And they all relate back to the original intent of the Bevo Mill, which was to show prior to prohibition that sophisticated people could enjoy alcohol with food,” he explained.
Schuchard expects to do a lot of entertaining during their first year in business.
“Bevo Days, Octoberfest, and coming up this October will be our centennial celebration for the Bevo Mill, it will be 100 years old,” he said.
Das Bevo will host weddings, bachelor parties, lots and lots of musical performances and more.
And perhaps surprising to some, guests will even have the option to spend the night in three hotel rooms that are converted apartments.
One apartment will have three bedrooms, and there will be a pair of one-bedroom apartments, Schuchard told KMOX News. “And people can come down here and stay like at a bed-and-breakfast.”
Das Bevo is set to open to the public by serving brunch on Sunday, May 7.
Find out more by visiting dasbevo.com.