The first phase of the transformation of midtown’s historic Armory into an entertainment “destination” will open Dec. 16, developers announced. The Armory’s debut venue will feature interactive games, a two-story slide, six bars, numerous TVs and a stage for live entertainment.
“We crafted the Armory, particularly this first phase, to feel like the living room of St. Louis,” Armory director of marketing Ali Lamb said. “You enter, and (with) the bright colors, the welcoming atmosphere, games, comfortable seating — I mean, it’s really designed for you to immerse yourself in what you would do in the living room of your home, when you’re hosting friends and family.”
The available games will include arcade games as well as cornhole, washers, paddle ball, eight-player futsal and four-square badminton. The games are mobile, so the space can be reconfigured as needed — adding more cornhole boards for a tournament, for example.
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The Armory will offer food as well as beverages, though the menu is still being finalized. Lamb said customers can expect “handheld fan favorites, local favorites, really fresh and simple (food).”
Admission is free. Guests pay for activities a la carte.
“If you just want to have a few beers and a bite to eat and hang out? Absolutely, it’s free to enter,” Lamb said. “And then if you decide to play games, great.”
One exception will be monthly appearances by national and regional touring acts on the 60-foot stage. These will be ticketed events.
The approximately 85,000-square-foot first phase will be just one venue inside the 250,000-square-foot Armory, which is owned by Green Street Real Estate Ventures. Five additional entertainment venues are slated to open throughout spring. Details on those venues have yet to be announced. In addition, the Armory will be the future home of the St. Louis Tennis Hall of Fame.
Developers say the $60 million project will create some 400 new jobs.
The Armory was originally built in 1938, and Lamb sees the building’s deep roots in the St. Louis community as a key part of the new project’s appeal.
“For example, I can’t go anywhere, when I start talking about the Armory, without some St. Louisan sharing their story about an experience they had with the building,” she said. “And as a St. Louisan myself, that’s … just an incredible foundation to build off of.”
The Armory is located at 3660 Market Street.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September and has been updated to reflect a new opening date.
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