Mr. Joe Edwards

Owner, Blueberry Hill Restaurant

An alumnus of John Burroughs School and Duke University, Edwards, GL04, returned to his hometown of St. Louis in 1972 and opened Blueberry Hill on Delmar Boulevard, a shopping street known to locals as “The Loop.” The move was the first of many efforts spearheaded by Edwards that revitalized the once vacant district and transformed it into the thriving community destination it is today.

Edwards formed The Loop Special Business District and has served on various committees that address community issues ranging from urban sanitation to security. In 1988, he founded the nonprofit St. Louis Walk of Fame on The Loop to showcase St. Louis cultural heritage and community history. In 1995, he renovated the Tivoli Theater, a 1920s-era landmark. Subsequent projects include the Pageant, a performance venue opened in 2000; Pin-Up Bowl, opened in 2003; the Moonrise Hotel, a four-diamond boutique hotel with its restaurant and indoor/outdoor Rooftop Terrace Bar in 2009; the 24-hour Peacock Diner in 2014; and the Delmar Hall live music venue in 2016. Currently he is spearheading construction of a 2.2-mile electric, fixed-track, vintage trolley system (opening in late 2017) that will connect The Loop with two MetroLink stations and Forest Park attractions to enhance this livable, walkable community.

Edwards also has renovated numerous historical buildings and encouraged unique specialty shops, restaurants and cultural institutions to make The Loop their home. His efforts have led to The Loop being designated “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association in 2007. Edwards has received recognition from the St. Louis Mayor’s Office, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the St. Louis Award (2003), and the Missouri House of Representatives, among others.