The Boo Cats defeated the Vin de Setters in the competition to buy and renovate the Bevo Mill.
Put another way, Pat and Carol Schuchard — owners of the Boo Cat Club and Majorette event spaces — are the preferred redevelopers of the Bevo Mill, the windmilled restaurant at 4749 Gravois Avenue in south St. Louis.
The city’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, Bevo Mill’s owner, decided Tuesday to go with the Schuchards’ plan over a competing proposal from Paul and Wendy Hamilton, the couple who own restaurants Vin de Set and 1111 Mississippi. The LCRA board’s vote for the Schuchards was unanimous.
Otis Williams, executive director of the St. Louis Development Corp., said that in a tight competition the Schuchards edged out the Hamiltons by proposing to redo the Bevo Mill with few tax incentives. The LCRA’s staff had recommended the Schuchards’ plan.
Work to refurbish the building will begin after the couple buy the landmark from the LCRA. Pat Schuchard said he and his wife agreed to pay the agency’s asking price of $500,000.
Schuchard said the plan is to have a beer garden open this fall and carry out $4 million to $5 million in improvements over the next five years. He said the LCRA has maintained the building well.
“We’re just going to polish it up, clean it up and be open by September,” he said.
Later plans include a restaurant open daily, a coffee shop in the Mill Room and a bed and breakfast in the Bevo’s two-level apartment. A microbrewery and a distillery could be housed in a new building that could be erected on the site, he said.
In a nod to the Bevo Mill’s German-themed heritage, sausages will be available at the beer garden, which will have numerous local brews on tap, Schuchard said.
Bevo Mill’s other features include four dining rooms, a second-floor office, a patio and parking for 167 vehicles.
Anheuser-Busch donated the 100-year-old South Side landmark to the LCRA in January 2009 after InBev took over the brewery. Three months later, the Bevo Mill restaurant closed and the LCRA selected a new operator, L&M Catering. L&M’s lease expires in June.
In March, the LCRA issued a request for a new owner, specifying that whoever bought the building would have to agree to make at least $1 million in improvements.
Plans from the Schuchards and Hamiltons were the only proposals submitted.
Both proposals were “really great,” but Williams said the Schuchards impressed him and his staff with a comprehensive renovation plan. “They have great ideas of what to do with all the components of this building.”