No longer a military base: Armory STL opens to public


The Armory building has seen many changes in its history. It originated as a base for the 138th infantry of the Missouri National Guard and has evolved over the years, the most prominent being as a space for athletes to practice. 

Formerly a Missouri National Guard base, the space in St. Louis City features a wide open venue with plenty of room for guests to enjoy. Photo contributed by Armory STL.

The Armory has become a part of St. Louis history, and its upcoming renovations will shape the community. The Armory will become Armory STL, a dining and entertainment space boasting up to 250,000 square feet, with 85-foot ceilings and a capacity of 5,500 people. It’s a truly unique space that St. Louis has never seen before. Armory STL officially opens to the public Dec. 16. 

Armory STL director of marketing Ali Lamb expressed the importance of having a space like it. 

“We’re really purposeful and intentional about utilizing the space, as we call it, the living room of STL,” Lamb said. 

With over 40 games, a 60-foot stage and plenty of local cuisine, it’s no wonder the Armory is essentially a living room on a massive scale. From pingpong and large-scale chess to four-square badminton and a two-story lime-green slide, the Armory has plenty to offer.

One of the key points of the space is the connection to locality. The Armory is partnered with local businesses like Pappy’s and Louisa’s to have the cuisine of the city readily available to visitors. 

“We’re two blocks from the new soccer stadium, you can see the Arch and the Union Station Ferris wheel from our rooftop. It was really important for us to stay rooted in St. Louis,” Lamb said. 

The newly converted space included multiple forms of entertainment such as food, drink, bags cup pong and more. Photo contributed by Armory STL.

The Armory also makes connections to its historical roots. From being used by a military infantry to providing people with a space to practice sports, it pays homage in many ways. The dining area is called the Defact, which was a term for military dining halls. 

“We’re being really intentional about tying in the important history because this is a space for the community,” Lamb said. “We want people to be curious and excited to see how this space is coming together because it’s been here forever.”

The commitment to staying true to the local community is not just confined to providing local brands, but also in giving back. 

“Every time we hold an Armory event, we will attach ourselves to a charitable initiative because it’s really important to us as a company to make an immediate impact,” Lamb said. 

This is only the first phase of what is to come at Armory STL. A place like the Armory is perfect for bringing people together to connect and play, while honoring what makes St. Louis so special. It is rooted in celebration, which is something the community needs now, more than ever.

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Elise Palmer
Culture & Lifestyle Editor | + posts