Dogtown, while not formally recognized by the City of St Louis as an official neighborhood, is still one of the most popular neighborhoods in the City. Dogtown offers a fantastic location. Bordered roughly by McCausland, Oakland, Macklind and Manchester, the area actually encompasses several smaller but official city neighborhoods including Clayton-Tamm, Hi-Pointe, Franz Park, and Cheltenham
The neighborhood is Literally walking distance to Forest Park, it’s highly walkable to great bars and restaurants and is in close proximity to two of our biggest highways and minutes from Washington University, St Louis University Barnes and Cortex.
But why is Dogtown called Dogtown? That’s a great question and not an easy one to answer.
For years the rumor was that Dogtown got it’s name from the days of the 1904 World’s Fair. During the fair one of the exhibits housed indigenous people of the Philippines. According to the legend, the indigenous people often hunted dogs in the area for rituals and for meals. Horrifying and also…not true. The name “Dogtown” was used in newspaper clippings and other printed material about the area long before the 1904 World’s Fair which debunks that theory.
Another theory, a bit more likely is that Dogtown got it’s name from groups of miners that were displaced when the City bought the land that now is Forest Park. They were forced to the area where they built shacks and had watchdogs to help protect their belongings.
Generally in Dogtown you will find the charming St Louis brick bungalow. The closer you get to Tamm Ave and Oakland the more brick and stained glass. Lovely front porches with bead board ceilings, arched doorways and living rooms with fireplaces (if they haven’t been torn out to make room for wall space).
Kitchens will usually be towards the back of the house. If they were built pre-HVAC days this gave the chef of the house the opportunity to swing a few doors and windows open when needed.As years have gone by some of the smaller brick bungalows have been updated and rehabbed to open up those spaces and modernize the floor plan a bit.
Not everything in Dogtown is the small brick bungalow though. Over the last 10-15 years newer construction has been popular in the area. New builds offer large square footage, two story townhomes and row houses with tuck under garages and modern floor-plans with master suites and open kitchen living room concepts.
there is a common theme with almost all of the homes in Dogtown though and that is smaller yard space. It is a denser community so yards tend to be smaller. Some will have an attached garage or carport but that also takes away from the available space. With Forest Park right across the road and plenty of other green space sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, the smaller yards don’t tend to be an issue with most residents.
The dining atmosphere in Dogtown tends to be a bit more relaxed. Local beer, BBQ, and some of St Louis’ best Irish pubs.
One of our favorite places is Tamm Ave Bar on Macklind. Hands down one of the best patios in the City. I say that mostly because as a dog lover it makes my heart happy how dog friendly this place is. Think local beer, great food, fire-pits, bags and lots of dogs. Another current local favorite is Hogtown…local BBQ at it’s best. Heavy Riff Brewery makes an outstanding Brown Ale called Velvet Underbrown. Pair that with their house chili on a cool fall day. You can thank me later.
Dogtown is known city wide as the “Irish” part of town. The annual Ancient Order of Hibernians St Patricks Day parade is a St Louis tradition. Ten’s of thousands of people come from far and wide to be a part of the parade and the all day St Patricks Day festivities. My advice is to come early and leave before you get too cold. If you can get a spot at the bar at Seamus McDaniels, hunker down and down leave your spot.
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