New bar and restaurant planned for downtown Belleville
Kareemah Lampley is ready to expand her business interests from taking care of kids to giving adults a new place to meet.
Lampley, the owner of Leaps & Bounds Learning Center on the east side of Belleville, plans to open The Luna Lounge in the former Pitcher’s Sports Pub & Pizzeria at 104 W. Main St. in downtown Belleville.
The Belleville City Council on Monday night unanimously approved Lampley’s request for a liquor license.
Lampley plans to open the bar and restaurant on April 15.
The menu will include daily specials, including fish on Fridays, seafood on Saturdays and soul food on Sunday.
Lampley said she’s “trying to have a spot for working class” people to relax during happy hour and after work.
This is Lampley’s first foray into the bar and restaurant business as an owner but she’s not a newcomer to the Belleville business scene.
We raise our family here. We go shopping in this area but we just want to try have some place for us to kind of meet up without traveling. It’s easier for us to meet in a central space.
“I’ve been a business owner in Belleville for almost 11 years,” Lampley said of her child care center at 155 Lincoln Place Court.
She plans to keep the daycare open along with The Luna Lounge.
Lampley, who will lease the former Pitcher’s site, said she chose it because of its central location.
“A lot of people that I know, a lot of people that I’ve grown up with, that I worked with, that I went to school with have gravitated toward this area,” Lampley said. “We raise our family here. We go shopping in this area but we just want to try have some place for us to kind of meet up without traveling. It’s easier for us to meet in a central space.
“You don’t have to go to St. Louis … You can kind of stay at home.”
Lampley said the building does not need a lot of work.
Lampley also received permission for a new sign and to have outdoor dining.
The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals last month unanimously recommended that aldermen grant Lampley’s requests.
Pitcher’s closed late last year after being open for five years.
Lloyd Cueto and John Costello, who owned Pitcher’s, said they decided to close the bar because they wanted to spend more time with their family and on their day jobs.
In other business
▪ The City Council approved requests from the Belleville Historical Society to open a museum and bed and breakfast at 6 Oak Knoll Place.
The society plans to open the Museum of Midcentury Modern Architecture, which will feature the work of former Belleville architect Charles E. King, who designed Belleville City Hall.
King designed the home at 6 Oak Knoll Place in 1952 for Terry and Thelma Blazier.
Larry Betz, president of the Belleville Historical Society, said the group is still raising money to get the museum open.
In the meantime, the society expects to soon open the bed and breakfast in the studio apartment attached to the home where the museum will be located. Betz said the bed and breakfast will be listed on Airbnb.
▪ The City Council recognized Mike Parks for his 39 years of working for the city. Parks is retiring and most recently has served as assistant director of the Public Works Department.