Joe Edwards’ creative vision, risk-taking, and leadership have helped transform The Loop into one of the most vibrant restaurant, shopping, arts & entertainment districts in the United States. Download hi-res photos of Joe.

Nationally renowned restaurant and music club Blueberry Hill was the first of a new era of unique owner-operated businesses in the area. Joe’s subsequent attractions include the beautiful Tivoli Movie Theatre, the non-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame, The Pageant concert nightclub, the Pin-Up Bowl, the sensational Moonrise Hotel with the Eclipse Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace BarPeacock Diner, Delmar Hall Concert Club, and Magic Mini Golf.

Joe also has renovated numerous historic buildings (including creating the Flamingo Bowl on Washington Avenue) and encouraged one-of-a-kind specialty shops and cultural institutions to make The Loop their home. He spearheaded the Loop Trolley, a vintage fixed-track trolley system which runs from the Delmar Loop to Forest Park and back.

The American Planning Association designated the Delmar Loop “One of the 10 Great Streets in America.” Dine at one of the award-winning, multi-national restaurants. Immerse yourself in the rich social, ethnic, and cultural diversity of this Historic District.

Joe’s Chronology

Born and raised in St. Louis. Eagle Scout.

Graduated from John Burroughs School and Duke University.

9-8-72 Opened Blueberry Hill, St. Louis landmark restaurant & music club filled with pop culture memorabilia (with Linda Edwards).

1980 Co-founded The Loop Special Business District.

1988 Founded the non-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Stars honoring famous St. Louisans plus informative plaques summarizing their achievements and St. Louis connection make this unique walk enjoyable and educational. 150+ stars include John Goodman, Maya Angelou, Bob Costas, Miles Davis, Tennessee Williams, Chuck Berry, Stan Musial, Tina Turner, Charles Lindbergh, Ozzie Smith, T.S. Eliot, Yogi Berra, Betty Grable, Cedric The Entertainer, Brett Hull and Nelly.

Set in the sidewalks of the exciting restaurant, shopping, arts & entertainment district called The Loop, it’s open 24 hours and is free.

3-89 Joe and Blueberry Hill were featured in Archie comic book #204 Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals. In the six-page story Joe “actually” got to meet Archie and Jughead at Blueberry Hill. (Only in the parallel universe of a comic book could this event have happened. They rarely ever feature real people.)

11-8-92 Received the 1993 Elijah P. Lovejoy Award for distinguished commitment to human rights and justice in the St. Louis Community.

5-16-95 Received from St. Louis County a special proclamation citing his various projects and his dedication that inspired the revitalization of The Loop. The award, presented by County Executive Buzz Westfall, proclaimed May 16, 1995 “Joe Edwards Day.”

5-19-95 Restored and re-opened the Tivoli Theatre (built in 1924).

5-28-96 Selected to carry the Olympic Flame as a “Community Hero” torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch Relay.

11-26-97 Opened Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room, a 240-capacity music room. The “Father of Rock & Roll,” Chuck Berry, performed 209 concerts at Blueberry Hill.

4-24-98 Received proclamation from Mayor Harmon of St. Louis. “Joe Edwards has provided the civic leadership and vision for the revitalization of city life and has maintained a strong presence and support for many cultural events in our community.” “Joe Edwards is recognized for his love of St. Louis, his respect for our unique heritage and his willingness to spearhead and support projects that celebrate St. Louis and represent all the good things that are possible for our city.” The Mayor proclaimed April 24-26 as Joe Edwards days.

12-98 Originated holiday lights in The Loop (24 garlands across Delmar), which add to the ambiance of The Loop every November and December.

3-25-99  Received 1999 Community Service Award from Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation (+ $8,000 grant for non-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame)

12-99 Named “St. Louisan of the Year” by St. Louis Magazine.

1-31-00 Named one of “100 Leaders For the Millennium” by St. Louis Business Journal.

9-27-00 Voted “Best St. Louisan of 2000” in Riverfront Times readers’ poll.

10-00 Built The Pageant Building, a 50,000 square foot multi-use building that includes a nationally known concert nightclub, two retail stores and 14,000 square feet office space at 6161 Delmar. It signaled the extension of The Loop into the City of St. Louis and the bridging of the artificial City/County border.

10-19-00 Grand opening of The Pageant, a state-of-the-art 33,000 square foot concert nightclub designed for live music productions and special events. This 2,000+ capacity venue features superb sightlines and acoustics plus a balcony (with Pat Hagin).

9-26-01 Picked “Best St. Louisan of 2001” by Riverfront Times editors.

6-02  “Show Me Award” from Gov. Holden and State of Missouri for building The Pageant Building that spurred redevelopment on Delmar east of Skinker Blvd. in the City of St. Louis.

10-9-02  2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award (John Burroughs School) for extraordinary involvement in the St. Louis community.

5-10-03 Received “Key to the City of St. Louis” from Mayor Francis Slay at the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the re-opening of meticulously renovated 6172-78 Delmar building that was constructed in 1912. The day marked another milestone in expanding the vibrant Loop in St. Louis.

8-03 Arranged for the non-profit Regional Arts Commission to construct its new headquarters building and gallery at 6128 Delmar in The Loop.

11-17-03 Received the St. Louis Award. The St. Louis Award was established in 1931 to honor “the resident of metropolitan St. Louis who has contributed the most outstanding service for its development or … shall have performed such services as to bring greatest honor to the community.”

12-12-03 Opened the Pin-Up Bowl, “The Original Bowling and Martini Lounge” at 6191 Delmar in The Loop.

3-3-04 Received the McReynolds Award from Missouri Preservation for work done in revitalizing The Loop and multiple preservation projects. Ceremony was in Jefferson City in the Missouri Capitol Rotunda.

5-21-04 Received honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) from Washington University at the Sesquicentennial (150th) Commencement.

1-8-05 Recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Community Service Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. State Celebration Commission of Missouri. (Dr. Bernice King, youngest daughter of Coretta Scott King and Dr. King gave keynote address at Harris–Stowe State College. Dr. Henry Givens, president, presided.)

5-14-05 Received honorary degree (Doctor of Fine Arts) from St. Louis University.

1-14-06 Originated the annual Loop Ice Carnival held every January.

5-3-06 Received the 2006 Community Betterment Award from the Missouri Growth Association.

5-13-06 Received honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) from University of Missouri–St. Louis.

10-2-07 The American Planning Association in Washington, DC designated the Delmar Loop as “One of 10 Great Streets in America.” APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character {of} communities of lasting value. Other streets honored include: North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL; Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL; 125th Street, Harlem, NY; South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT; Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM; Bull Street, Savannah, GA; Main Street, Northampton, MA; Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA; and St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA.

11-9-07 Received the 2007 Citizen Planner Award (Dwight D. Davis Award) from the Missouri State Chapter of the American Planning Association.

12-13-07 Opened the Flamingo Bowl, 1117 Washington Ave. (downtown St. Louis)

4-2-08 Received Outstanding Missourian honor from the House of Representatives at the State Capitol during 94th General Assembly. Presented by Representative Rachel Storch.

6-11-08 Received Brotherhood Sisterhood Award from The National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis. The NCCJSTL promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures through advocacy, conflict resolution and education.

9-25-08 Voted Best Citizen, Best of St. Louis Riverfront Times Readers’ Poll.

11-20-08 Received 2008 Better Downtown Award for Flamingo Bowl from the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.

4-17-09 Opened the Moonrise Hotel, an independent, 125-room boutique hotel in The Loop at 6177 Delmar. It includes the Eclipse Restaurant, several meeting/event spaces, the Rooftop Terrace Bar and fascinating displays of lunar and space memorabilia.

6-14-09 Honored by the NAACP as one of the Most Inspiring St. Louisans-Individuals whose ideas, talents, power, and ability to change people’s lives for the better, has helped to shape and transform the St. Louis community.

10-9-09 St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and SLDC Executive Director Rodney Crim awarded “Development of the Year” honor to the Moonrise Hotel.

11-8-09 Delmar Loop Planet Walk dedicated as the newest educational attraction for The Loop. Joe Edwards arranged funding and three governmental approvals for this scale model of our Solar system (designed by Steve Walker).

12-09 Honored by St. Louis Magazine as a St. Louis Luminary (People whose ideas glow so brightly, they illuminate a path for the rest of us.)

6-13-10 Saint Louis Argus (oldest African-American Newspaper west of the Mississippi River) honored The Loop Special Business District at the Distinguished Citizen Awards with a “Tribute to Neighborhoods Award” named for Joe Edwards.

6-27-10 Honored by the NAACP as one of the 25 Most Inspiring St. Louisans at Freedom Fund Dinner.

11-10 Orchestrated design, funding and installation of illuminated parking signs on parking garage and two parking lots.

2010-12 Wayfinding Signage program throughout the region developed by the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. Joe represented The Loop.

7-29-11 Chuck Berry Statue (by sculptor Harry Weber) dedicated. ($100,000 project orchestrated by Joe Edwards and broadcaster Charlie Brennan)

12-5-11 Received “Pillar in the Community” Award from the Clayton Chamber of Commerce at the Ritz-Carlton.

12-15-11 Served on Leadership Task Force for The Confluence Partnership.

6-3-12 Received Community Service Award from the Harvard Club of St. Louis.

8-22-12 Appointed to Washington University’s National Council for the Gephardt Institute for Public Service (Aug. 2012 – present).

10-12 Orchestrated procurement, design and installation of whimsical Bicycle Racks throughout The Loop.

12-12 St. Louis Magazine’s Power List: 100 People Shaping St. Louis Today. Referred to as “The Duke of Delmar.”

4-16-13 Received “Ethic of Service Award” from Washington University. The award was created to honor WU community members who believe in and shape the future of our region.  Honorees exemplify a character of service and giving to the St. Louis region. (Gerry & Bob Virgil hosted the reception & dinner.)

9-12-13 Received the lifetime achievement award from the Landmarks Association of St. Louis for his work in historic preservation and community revitalization.

10-10-14 Opened the Peacock Loop Diner, a one-of-a-kind restaurant serving classic diner fare plus spiked milkshakes and vegetarian dishes.

The Peacock Diner’s décor is visually striking from the 11-foot wide neon sign, whose feathers fan in and out 200 times an hour, to the display cases of peacock memorabilia, old-time diner ephemera plus the rotating Carousel of Love booth for special occasions. The Peacock Diner might be the greenest and most sustainable diner in the United States – it received LEED Platinum certification.

12-13-14 Received Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club Sheer Elegance Award.

2-19-15 First-place winner, for Peacock Diner, of the 2015 Architect & Designer Award (St. Louis at Home) in Commercial Category: Restaurants. Juried by four nationally-known New York City designer/architects (designer Mario Buatta, architect Audrey Matlock, Domino creative director and editorial director Robert Leleux, and designer Marshall Watson)

3-12-15 Groundbreaking ceremony for $51 million Loop Trolley project. Joe was and is chair of the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District. He came up with the concept and started working on building this fixed-track, vintage trolley system in 1997. For more information, see the Loop Trolley’s grand opening entry in this bio.

4-21-15 Peacock Loop Diner’s neon sign voted best new sign in the world in 2015 international competition. (concept by Joe Edwards and designed by Hope Edwards along with Kiku Obata & Co.)

4-26-15 Named “Best Local Hero” by St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2015.

9-29-16 Received the Maestro Award from HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (Missouri Chapter). Given to an individual who coordinates and unites the efforts of many in moving their organization forward.

9-30-16 Grand opening of Delmar Hall, a state-of-the-art 800-capicity music venue (with Pat Hagin) designed for live music and special events. It features excellent sightlines and sound.

With Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room (340-capacity), Delmar Hall (800) and The Pageant (2000+), many people consider the Delmar Loop the “live music center of St. Louis.”

11-16 Named by St. Louis Magazine as one of “100 People Shaping the Region.”

8-1-17 Inducted into Ron Elz’s (Johnny Rabbitt) St. Louis’s Hall of Fame –inaugural class of 50, ranging from 1700s to present day –presentation held at the Missouri History Museum.

1-30-18 Joe rode on Loop Trolley #001 car with Loop Trolley, FTA and MoDOT teams.

11-7-18 Received St. Louis International Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award

11-15-19 Dedication of Loop Trolley, a fixed-track heritage trolley system that connects the Delmar Loop and Forest Park. The ceremony is held at Delmar Hall (due to snow storm). Golden Spike symbolized bridging east/west and north/south.

The 2.2 mile route runs from the University City Library east on Delmar Boulevard to DeBaliviere Avenue and then south on DeBaliviere Avenue to the Missouri History Museum and back.It connects The Loop and the 12 million visitors to Forest Park attractions. It also connects with two Metrolink stations (Delmar Loop and Forest Park). The colorful, electric trolley cars operate in the existing traffic lanes through The Loop and a single dedicated track along the rest of the route.

The system is an economic stimulus for this designated redevelopment area. It will further stabilize the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for people that live and work in this exciting, diverse city area.

It can be a prototype for growth and stabilization in other neighborhoods in the region. Not only can the trolley be an attraction; it can be a source of pride for the metropolitan area.

11-16-18 The Loop Trolley started service

1-24-19 Elected Emeritus Director of The Loop Trolley Company

9-8-2022 Celebrated the 50th anniversary of St. Louis landmark restaurant and music club Blueberry Hill

8-31-23 His 27-foot tall animated neon sign and marquee for Magic Mini Golf won the juried Signs of the Times international sign award.

The colorful blinking sign features a retro-style man and woman swinging golf clubs. As the figures putt, the golf ball moves across the sign which rises over a custom-designed curved semicircular marquee.

Joe and his daughter Hope Edwards designed the instantly-iconic sign.

10-20-23 Opened Magic Mini Golf, which features 18 whimsical holes of indoor miniature golf, two full-sized shuffleboard courts, and a 5-car Ferris wheel.

11-21-23 Debuts the brand new coffee table book, St. Louis Walk of Fame: 250 Years of Great St. Louisans, which spotlights photos and concise, insightful biographies of 173 inductees as well as photos from induction ceremonies over the years, visual guides to the Delmar Loop, and interesting breakdowns of the inductees by field of achievement, year of election, birthday, and sidewalk location.

The St. Louis Walk of Fame honors great St. Louisans with brass stars and bronze biographies in the sidewalks of the Delmar Loop.


Joe Edwards
A neon sign at dusk featuring a man and a woman in 1950s-style clothes dancing. Stars surround them and a word bubble says "I found my thrill" and below in yellow script it says "Blueberry Hill", the name of the iconic St. Louis restaurant and music club