A First Look at The Last Hotel

Tuesday July 2, 2019

By Explore St. Louis Guest

July 2, 2019 – At The Last Hotel, now open on Washington Avenue in the downtown Garment District, guests are always part of the story. Designed to fascinate and captivate the curious traveler, it’s this ever-changing, ever-growing story that creates a one-of-a-kind experience at The Last Hotel.

“Our hotel is stitching itself into the fabric of St. Louis by celebrating the history, culture, fashion and local characters and

businesses that make St. Louis a genuine city,” says owner and developer Tim Dixon of Fe Equus. “I came to St. Louis a

few years ago and fell in love with a building and the city. I wanted this hotel to reflect my deep affection for the St. Louis, its history and its bright future.”

The 142-room hotel, managed by Trust Hospitality and located at 1501 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis, includes the lobby-level Last Kitchen + Bar, a much-anticipated rooftop bar and lounge, and more than 6,000 square feet of meeting and events space. Guests can expect a wide range of St. Louis-centric experiences:

  • a signature store in the lobby called The Pantry stocked with local and house-made goods;
  • a shoe shine station and antique shoe lace machine churning out custom laces in the lobby in recognition of the building’s history as the International Shoe Company;
  • exclusive The Last Rye Whiskey and The Last Two-Step Gin made in partnership with St. Louis’ own StilL 630 Distillery

The Story

The Last Hotel STL tells the story of shoemaking in St. Louis, the city’s influence on the fashion industry and the American dream itself.

The city’s recorded history with shoes dates back to 1821. A booming American economy and the new Eads Bridge and St. Louis streetcar along Washington Avenue created a bustling downtown that wealthy families and business tycoons called home. By 1905, 48 million pairs of shoes had been shipped out of St. Louis prompting, earning St. Louis the title of “greatest shoe distributing center of the world.” With St. Louis producing one-sixth of all the shoes made in the United States, Peters Shoe Company and Johnson & Rand Shoe Company merged in 1911 to form the International Shoe Company. While originally built as the Roberts Shoe Company (its name engraved on the building’s eastern face), our building also carries the Peters Shoe Company name in metal above the iconic architectural detail of shoe a cobbler that is now our hotel’s icon. The hotel is named for a last, the wooden form used in shoemaking.

The Interiors

The interiors of The Last Hotel represent a melting pot of textures, colors, time periods and patterns. Inspired by the creative diversity of the city's culture and people, award-winning designers at ESG made St. Louis itself the muse. Original marble and terrazzo flooring, ornate column capitals and bronze light fixtures have been restored to preserve this striking and historic building. References from the Vienna Secession art movement, which inspired the original architecture, are brought inside through strong geometric lines, era-inspired lighting and unexpected high-contrast patterns — creating an eclectic vibe. Leather and stitching details are used throughout the common areas and guest rooms, along with local artwork to bring the past and present together.

Guest rooms at the 142-room hotel tell a story of both the craftsmanship of St. Louis and the heritage of the building. Bold textures, era-inspired lighting and a multitude of leather all pay homage to The International Shoe Company. Rooms feature custom-designed wood and leather case goods inspired by a cobbler's bench and Bluetooth era-driven radios, bringing the design into the modern day. Local artwork, fully restored original architectural such as exposed duct wood, raw ceilings and exposed columns all further bridge the past and present.

The Last Food & Beverage

The hotel’s three food and beverage outlets all play an integral role in the story of The Last Hotel. The Last Kitchen + Bar’s Executive Chef Evy Swoboda has crafted a menu that tells the story of the Mississippi River, following a culinary path leading to St. Louis.

Made-from-scratch dishes and mindfully sourced ingredients pair perfectly with Pre-Prohibition classic cocktails that feature local spirits and the hotel’s own The Last Rye Whiskey and The Last Two-Step Gin made in partnership with St. Louis’ StilL 630 Distillery. Swoboda was inspired by a five-city Mississippi River tour during menu development. The one-of-a-kind tour was documented in a series of videos shared on the hotel’s social channels.

The Pantry, located in the lobby, is stocked with tempting culinary fare, such as tastes from The Last Kitchen, bottles of the hotel’s own gin and whiskey, house-made hot sauce, pickles, dilly beans and other local dry goods that can be found on the plate or in the glass.

Perhaps the most highly anticipated hotel amenity is The Rooftop. This 10th floor bar and lounge, schedule to open in a few weeks, will serve up delightful cocktails, sharable bites and a touch of whimsy. Sink into a starlit armchair or splash into our waist-high rooftop pool designed for socializing. The Last Rooftop is the ultimate gathering place for residents and visitors alike. Watch for announcements of weekly programming and access by the public.

The Last Meetings and Event Spaces

With more than 6,000 square feet of prime meetings and events space and windows overlooking massive carved Corinthian capitals, The Last Hotel is arguably the most dramatic wedding venue in downtown St. Louis. The hotel will feature two elegant and spacious ballrooms, along with a bridal suite for attendants to all get ready together and grooms’ room complete with beer taps. Meeting space also includes four designed-for-business boardrooms. Opening later will be a movie screening room, sure to be coveted meeting and social planners alike.

Chef Evy has created flexible catering menus along with Food and Beverage Director Will Rogers, who brings two decades of experience to The Last — including creating over-the-top weddings and events for VIP and celebrity clients in New York, Miami and Austin.

To book rooms or learn more about The Last Hotel, go to TheLastHotelSTL.com, of follow the property on Instagram and Facebook at @TheLastSTL. Until August 31, the hotel is featuring a Grand Opening Offer; book your stay and receive complimentary valet parking and a $20 food and beverage credit: https://thelasthotelstl.com/st-louis-hotel-packages/.

About The Last Hotel

The Last Hotel is the re-imagining of the former International Shoe Company building in the heart of St. Louis’s Garment District.

The boutique hotel features 142 eclectic-chic guest rooms, three food and beverage outlets — including The Last Kitchen & Bar — event spaces for up to 200 guests, a rooftop pool and lounge, and a posh lobby that celebrates the art and vibe of a bygone era.

The Last Hotel is owned by developer Tim Dixon and investors Michael Qualizza and Neil Freeman. The hotel is managed by Trust Hospitality.