Add another band to Joe Edwards’ ponytail now that the Peacock Loop Diner is almost a year old.
“I like playful. I like unique things. I like different,” Joe said of his latest business development along the Delmar cooridor that connects St Louis and University City. The Peacock Diner, opened last October, is a 24-hour restaurant, a city-style eatery with a big footprint on the ground floor of a new loft apartment complex owned by Washington University.
“It was important that the Loop become a 24-hour place,” said Joe, who owns a variety of businesses along the street. “I think this helps continue to make the neighborhood first-class.”
It’s easy to spot the diner: The 11-foot-wide neon peacock sign outside is a knockout in vivid teals, blues, turquoise and gold. Its tailfeathers fan open and close 200 times an hour. Joe’s daughter, Hope Edwards, a graphic artist, took her dad’s interpretation of what he wanted and turned it into an award-winner. (She also designed the menu.)
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“Yeah, that sign is so cool,” said Joe with a grin. “It won the international competition for the best sign in the world (in 2015).”
Inside, kitschy vintage memorabilia is everywhere, all from Joe’s personal collection, framed in window boxes at each booth and in tall, lighted display cases on the walls. One at the front of the diner is filled with some of his peacock collection. Another at the back includes great kitchen tools from decades past.
He laughed when asked about all the stuff he has been collecting since he was a kid.
“I had very understanding parents.”
Molded neon strips run along the four semicircular counters. Each counter sits at a different height, surrounded by metal stools with blue cushions. The rotating Carousel of Love booth can be rented out for special occasions, too.
The diner serves breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you want. Big sellers are the Finals Breakfast Sandwich (fried egg, ham steak, bacon and Cheddar cheese between two waffles, served with sides of sriacha sauce and syrup, $8.50) and the Eggs Arnold (fried egg, ham, melted Cheddar, sauteed spinach over a housemade buttermilk biscuit, topped with hollandaise sauce, $9.50).
“The corn dog has become a really popular thing, too,” Joe said. The foot-long, sweet-battered, house-dipped dog is served with honey mustard for $5.
There are fried pickles ($3.50), soups and salads, pie, sides like hush puppies ($3.50), a vegan hummus and pita plate ($7.50) and the best burger deal in town, he says.
“Where else can you get a cheeseburger and fries for $4.50?” (A double is $5.50.)
He is surprised how well the tiniest of things have become crowd-pleasers: “The Olive You Cracker is really big!” It’s a Triscuit topped with Easy Cheese and a Mario olive for 50 cents.
The Caso family from University City got breakfast and lunch and then a special spin by Joe in the Carousel of Love. Mom Katie and sons Thomas, 14, and Paul, 9, chowed down on burgers. Daughter Abby, 12, enjoyed the french toast.
There’s an adult vibe here, too. While you can order the Birthday Party chocolate milkshake (with Oreos and M&Ms, $6.50), you also can choose an Apple Pie Kick shake, if you’re 21 or older. It’s made with Rumchata and Fireball, plus cinnamon with vanilla ice cream and diced apples, $9.
The Peacock Loop Diner has made Joe especially proud because it received LEED platinum (the highest) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“I’m 99.9 percent sure it’s the greenest diner in the U.S.”
Trust Joe, who has been dubbed the “Duke of Delmar,” to figure that one out. His other interests on the street include the Moonrise Hotel, The Pageant and Pin-Up Bowl on the east side of Delmar; as well as Blueberry Hill, The Tivoli Theater and now the Peacock Loop Diner west of the intersection with Skinker. He also created the non-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame and finally under way is his biggest community endeavor: the 2-plus-mile-long vintage trolley car system down Delmar that will connect to MetroLink and Forest Park attractions.
“I expect it will be done and up and running by Fall 2016,” he said.
Peacock Loop Diner
Where: 6261 Delmar, The Loop, University City, Mo.
What: Serves breakfast, lunch dinner. Also has a full bar.
Hours: Open 24 hours daily. Bar serves until 1 a.m.; midnight on Sundays.
Handicapped accessible: Yes.
Information: 314-721-5555 and peacockloopdiner.com.