Soulard is the oldest neigborhood in St. Louis City and retains much of its long, rich history, including fabulous architecture, one of the nation’s oldest breweries, and energetic nightlife. The area is named for Antoine Soulard, a refugee of the French Revolution who became a surveyor for the Spanish crown after arriving in St. Louis. Working class immigrants built the houses, grand churches, factories, and breweries in the neighborhood, once a rich mixture of Bohemian, Croatian, French, Hungarian, German, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Serbian, Slovak, and Syrian ethnicities.
The Soulard Market, established in 1779, is one of the oldest public markets in the country and the building is another of St. Louis’ unique, famous structures. The original building, constructed in 1840, was destroyed by a tornado in 1896. The current building was erected in 1929. The market is open Wednesday through Saturday, drawing people from all over the St. Louis Metro area to purchase fresh produce, bakery items, meats, and cheeses, plus plants, flowers, and handmade goods.
Soulard offers many fine restaurants and live music venues. Whether you’re looking for a quiet dinner on a garden patio or a romping good time in a Blues bar, it’s here. Throughout the year, Soulard is host to a few popular celebrations, including the Soulard Mardi Gras, Bastille Day, and Oktoberfest. Despite its popularity as an entertainment center, Soulard remains a quiet, close-knit neighborhood.