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Rendering of the new Humphrey's

Rendering of the proposed new Humphrey's. 

The owner of Humphrey’s Restaurant & Tavern has hit the pause button on his plan to demolish and replace the long-popular bar next to St. Louis University.

A “for lease or build to suit” sign from Stephen F. Bahn Commercial Real Estate Services is attached to one of the bar’s boarded-up windows.

Steve Bahn, the company’s president, said Friday that whatever happened at Humphrey’s would be “market driven.”

Humphrey’s, at 3700 Laclede Avenue, closed Jan. 1 after 40 years in business. Bernie Squitieri, who bought the bar in May, said last month that he planned to demolish the building in March and replace it with a new and bigger Humphrey’s ready for business this fall.

Bahn said that “raze and replace” remained the top choice but that options would be considered. A reopening of the current bar in unlikely, Bahn said, adding that the building was not for sale.

Demolition in March also is unlikely, he said. Bahn cited the redevelopment delay as a result of new competition in the SLU area.

Proposed for Humphrey’s is a new, two-story bar with a banquet center and a rooftop patio. When that might happen, if ever, has yet to be determined. Bahn said the hope remained “to do something great” at the site.

“It’s a great corner,” he said. “It’s the south entrance to St. Louis University.”