There's a legend among Richmond Heights history buffs that the city got its name when Robert E. Lee happened upon the land which became the present city when he was stationed in St. Louis with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The natural beauty reminded him of the beauty of his home city, Richmond Virginia. The name Richmond became attached to the area and 'Heights' was added later to reflect it's status as being the highest point in St. Louis.
Plotted in the early 1920's the earliest commercial center of Richmond Heights was Bellevue Square located at the corner of Bellevue and Wise. That original commercial block is still operating today in the same Richmond Building. Built in an Italianate Revival style, it has always had apartments on the upper floor and businesses at street level. One of those businesses, the In & Out Market has been in operation with just two owners for the past 40 years.
Recently Chris and Maggie Connolly of Clayton took ownership of the market and have begun the process of renovating the interior and hope to reopen in approximately 6 weeks. Their vision is of a quality convenience store, but also making available products at a price easy on the wallet. Maggie grew up nearby and very much wants to keep the neighborhood feel to the In & Out. One side of the store will have coolers holding beer and soda, another area will have wine, another slushy machines and up by the windows will sit a coffee bar. In the center customers will find various food and snack items.
The Connolly's are planning to use local vendors as much as possible for coffee and fresh food/sandwiches and are repurposing as much of the interior as possible, including the very retro check-out counter. However, the interior will be refloored, walls will be repainted as will the beautiful old tin ceiling, new lighting will be installed and best of all, new front windows.
This business re-do is an exciting venture for venerable Bellevue Square, keeping the line of commerce in the same location since 1920!