New Restaurants Populate the Rock Road

Mackenzie Rosenthal, News Editor

The St. Charles Rock Road is about to get a lot spicier. Over the last few months, the fast food industry has exploded along the busy stretch of road. And more are coming.

The newer restaurants that have opened or will open in coming months include Freddy’s, Rally’s, Wing Stop, Starbucks, Smoothie King, Destined Indulgence Bakery, with other names being floated for future development.

New businesses are not only convenient for the community; they help the district financially. Pattonville School District’s Chief Financial Officer Ron Orr explained how the businesses aid the school district.

“Some of the properties may be located in areas that capture property taxes to pay for the site improvements,” said Orr. For  example, the Jimmy John’s located on St. Charles Rock Road is currently “appraised at $477,700, which generates $8,152 for Pattonville.”

Finances are not the only perk to having new businesses in the district. “New businesses do provide additional revenue, but also help strengthen the area as well,” said Orr.

Some of the businesses required new construction while others found homes in businesses that closed.

According to Mr. Orr, Freddy’s is new construction, but part of a tax increment financing (TIF) district that will capture all of the new property taxes to pay for the redevelopment of The Crossings at Northwest.

Five Guys, Wing Stop, and Smoothie King is also new construction, but there used to be a Long John Silver and A&W on that site.

Starbucks is new construction and part of a Chapter 353 redevelopment that will capture all of the new property taxes to pay for the redevelopment.

“I believe [Destined Indulgence Bakery] is where a Christian book store was located and would have been a remodel of existing space,” said Mr. Orr.

Many students at Pattonville work at these new restaurants such as Rally’s and others. PHS student Lucas Gerst is an employee at Rally’s. “I love that I have the opportunity to get out of the house, interact with and meet other people,” said Gerst. “It’s also nice to have an income.”

Even though teenagers may be younger and not have as many options as adults have when it comes to jobs there are still perks involved. “Being a teen working in the fast food industry is hard cause I barely get enough sleep as it is, but it’s nice to be able to use my paycheck on things like a phone and not bills,” said Gerst. “I feel like this job is preparing me to be in the workforce as an adult.”

Fast food restaurants offer a variety of jobs and duties for employees. “I am a cashier and I mostly work in the drive through. I will work at the cash register, take orders, make drinks, and make sure our station stays stocked up,” said Gerst.

Keeping customers happy and satisfied is important in any business, especially the fast food industry. “I try to make sure to check that everything is in the bag of food and if a customer has to come back for something we forgot I might offer them a free drink or shake,” said Gerst. “I also always put on a smile and try to be as friendly as possible and try my best to satisfy their need.”