Food & Drink

New retail shop opens in downtown Belleville, O’Fallon movie theater expands

Barstool Gypsy opens in downtown Belleville

Downtown Belleville continues to attract new retailers. This time a new motorcycle parts and apparel shop has joined the lineup on Main Street.
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Downtown Belleville continues to attract new retailers. This time a new motorcycle parts and apparel shop has joined the lineup on Main Street.

Downtown Belleville continues to attract more retailers to Main Street. This time, a motorcycle parts, leather and apparel shop has joined the lineup of newcomers at 117 W. Main St.

Charlene Cox and Mike Bielke, former Harley-Davidson employees, own and operate Barstool Gypsy. The store opened inside of a former print shop in February after the space had been vacant for five years.

“We gutted the entire thing, all the way down,” Cox said. “It’s now top of the line. ... It’s new.”

The store features fashionable apparel, motorsports gear, sunglasses, scarfs and handbags. In the middle of the store, customers will find shoes, jeans and leather goods. Motorcycle parts, accessories and supplies are toward the back.

There’s also leather repair and sewing services for customers who want to fix or customize their gear.

“We’re not just some motorcycle shop with loud and burly guys,” Bielke said. “You can come in here and you can get a nice outfit on Friday night or if you need to rebuild your starter, we’ve got the parts for it.”

Bielke said the store will keep hard-to-find parts in stock for a wide range of motorcycles, not just Harley-Davidson. They’ll also carry parts for Suzuki, Yamaha and other brands.

“We have access to all of that stuff,” Bielke said. “ If you ride a motorcycle, walk through the door. I guarantee we’ll get you’ll taken of.”

Both Bielke and Cox have a passion for motorcycles that bloomed when they were kids.

The biking community has become their family over the years, and they hope to bring the same feeling into the family-friendly store. There’s a miniature display for kids to check out up front.

Here’s when the older Schnucks store in east Belleville will close

Schnucks will soon close one of its locations in east Belleville after nearly 25 years in business.

The grocery chain’s location at 110 Carlyle Plaza Drive will close at 6 p.m. March 24, Schnucks announced in a statement released Friday.

Employees at the closing store will be offered positions at nearby Schnucks locations, and pharmacy customers will be automatically transferred to the company’s new location at 800 Caryle Avenue, the former home of Shop ‘n Save.

In September 2018, Schnucks acquired five Shop ‘n Save locations in the metro-east. All of those locations have since been converted to Schnucks markets.

Renovations at the newly-acquired east Belleville store will wrap up soon. Remodel plans included a new pharmacy, meat and seafood service counter and floral department.

“Customers will also see upgrades and expansions to the produce, deli, and bakery departments,” the company stated.

The store closing marks the end of an era at Carlyle Plaza. Schnucks purchased the location in 1995 when it acquired National Supermarkets. The store at 110 Carlyle Plaza Drive opened in 1994.

O’Fallon movie theater adds more seats to the complex

Every seat has heat inside the new auditorium at Marcus Theatre in O’Fallon.

The recently completed auditorium has 284 heated Dream Loungers, a massive screen and Dolby Atmos sound.

“For the ultimate in sight and sound, a laser projection screen offers a brighter picture,” the company stated in news release Thursday. “While Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound provides an immersive soundscape to make guests feel like part of the action.”

Marcus purchased Wehrenberg Theatres in 2017 and began planning upgrades and renovations.

The expansion project included the addition of a bar and grill, upgraded theaters and the company’s signature Dream Lounger seating.

Cara Anthony covers restaurants and retail for the Belleville News-Democrat, where she works to answer readers’ questions about restaurant openings, business closures and the best new dishes in the metro-east. She attended Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville and grew up in East St. Louis.
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