For decades, Hazelwood has served as the commercial epicenter of north St. Louis County. The city's close proximity to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport makes it a prime location for transportation companies to conduct business. Hazelwood is the home of several types of transportation companies, ranging from small courier services to large freight haulers. The growth of the airport has mostly negated the economic impact caused by the closing of the area's Ford Motor plant. Despite its blue-collar roots, Hazelwood has defied the economic odds by continuing to prosper as one of the most vibrant communities in the St. Louis region.
Lodging represents another industry that keeps Hazelwood humming along the economic train tracks. Numerous major hotel chains have developed sites to attract both business and leisure travelers landing at Lambert. Hazelwood has earned a reputation for attracting a diverse demographic base, from retirees who enjoy the nearby Missouri River to young entrepreneurs who have set up shop to take advantage of Hazelwood's technological boom.
Hazelwood sits about 10 miles northwest of the St. Louis city limits and 5 miles directly north of the St. Louis County seat in Clayton.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The central Hazelwood restaurant district along North Lindbergh Boulevard provides Hazelwood residents with a wide selection of culinary delights. From authentic Mexican cuisine to classic Asian dishes, you can spend an entire year in Hazelwood and not get tired of the restaurants that define the culinary treasures hidden in this northern St. Louis suburb. However, some local gems can be found outside of this area.
Lion's Choice serves freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches. The beef typically sits in a rich au jus broth for several hours before expert slicers thinly cut the meat to form sumptuous sandwiches. Lion's Choice gives customers dining flexibility, since the menu works for an early business lunch as well as a late-night snack.
Locals head to Pearl Cafe for authentic Thai cuisine. Located on Lindbergh, Pearl Cafe serves patrons traditional dishes, including green curry and pad thai. The impressive food, comfortable atmosphere and extensive beer selection draw in huge and loyal crowds.
Nightlife in Hazelwood comprises a group of bars and grills that cater to the sports crowd. Red Bird Sports Café showcases every St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. Reviews claim this venue sits near the top of the list of the best places to watch Cardinals games. In addition to a wide selection of draft and bottle beers, Red Bird Sports Café has carved a strong niche in the Buffalo chicken wings menu category. A house-made tangy-and-sweet sauce smothers crispy wings that customers can order with or without the bones.
History & Culture
Artifacts uncovered by archaeologists date Hazelwood back to 4,000 B.C. However, the city did not assume its name until the fall of 1949, when city founders believed the area should act as the main commercial center for the fledgling regional airport. With the Ford Motor Plant and McDonnell-Douglas headquarters nearby, Hazelwood's population exploded after World War II. The city has significantly grown since the late 1940s by weathering a couple of deep recessions that adversely affected mostly blue-collar households. Twelve Fortune 500 companies call Hazelwood home, making the city one of the most important areas in the St. Louis metropolitan district.
Considered a second-ring suburb, Hazelwood has changed from a mostly Caucasian community to a diverse population representative of the influx of Asian, Hispanic and Bosnian immigrants. As Hazelwood's primary cultural attraction, the Toy Museum dazzles children and adults who are young at heart.
Because of the number of hotels in the area and the neighborhood's close proximity to the airport, Hazelwood residents rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for a taxi. County Cab typically provides the quickest response times for taxi services in the St. Louis area.
MetroLink runs along Interstate 70, about two miles south of Hazelwood. Residents can take a bus or walk to one of the stops located before the airport. The number 49 North Lindbergh bus line covers all of the Lindbergh area from the airport to the end of the line near the Mississippi River. Riders who need to connect with the South Lindbergh line for trips into South County can purchase a $2 fare that includes one transfer. Easy access to Interstates 70, 170 and 270 ensures short commutes for Hazelwood residents who work in Clayton or downtown St. Louis. The Hazelwood Parks and Recreation Department has constructed numerous paved bike trails within city parks, but cyclists do not have access to bike lanes on busy Hazelwood roads such as Lindbergh Boulevard.
The cost of living in Hazelwood falls below the average for St. Louis and the rest of the United States. However, grocery costs in Hazelwood exceed the average in other parts of Missouri. Hazelwood residents enjoy prices at the pump that fall 7.9 percent lower than the national average. Pizza costs 8.5 percent less in Hazelwood than the national average, and domestic draft beer prices at venues such as the Red Bird Sports Café run around $2 during happy hour and $2.50 during the rest of the day.
Hazelwood residents save the most money on housing. Housing values sit nearly 25 percent lower than the national average. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment costs about $650. The combination of a low cost of living and competitive wages paid by recession-proof employers makes Hazelwood the perfect suburban community to raise a family.
With the nearest major mall more than 10 miles away, Hazelwood residents shop at small businesses located mostly along Lindbergh Boulevard. The boutique and specialty shops include retailers that offer vintage clothing and accessories. The St. Louis Outlet Center contains several specialty stores as well as name-brand chains. Located on Saint Louis Mills Boulevard, By Alice Boutique sells cards, stationary and unique gifts. Yellow Diamond Boutique on West Florissant Road specializes in women's high-fashion apparel, including footwear, exotic nightwear and stylish jewelry.
Local chain Dierberg's operates as the major grocery store in Hazelwood. Shoppers who want to diversify their shopping carts can shop at venues such as the Worldwide International Food Market on North Lindbergh Boulevard. The international flavors found inside of the store include food from Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Royal Food Market sells a nice selection of European foods and spices.
While the southern half of Hazelwood bustles with commerce, city planners devoted much of the northern half to preserving rural charm. White Birch Park is home to the wildly popular game called disc golf. The 18-hole disc golf course attracts avid players from all over the area to participate in regularly scheduled tournaments. The City of Hazelwood also operates the outdoor Skate/BMX Park, which represents a one-of-a-kind recreation center in the St. Louis area.
Hazelwood devotes over 170 acres of land to 16 city parks and one regional sports complex. Many of the parks sit adjacent to the Missouri River. During winter, residents watch eagles soaring over the river. St. Stanislaus Conservation Area provides hikers with clear trails and hunters with an area to shoot waterfowl. As the closest off-leash dog park for Hazelwood residents, Duchesne Park provides plenty of room for canines to play. The dog park sits less than a mile from North Lindbergh Boulevard, just outside of Hazelwood's city limits. Organizers of the annual Hazelwood women's 5K Run/Walk slightly modify the course each year to take participants through one or more city parks.