Clementine’s Creamery: 1637 South 18th Street, Lafayette Square.
What’s in an address?
Well, if the address in question is in Lafayette Square, it contains the name of a Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de La Fayette (his full name was removed for brevity, but on second thought, here it is: Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette).
Fresh-faced and inept in English, Lafayette was only 19 years old when he took off for the New World to ‘assist the rebellious Americans’ in 1777. The young upstart didn’t let his inexperience on the battlefield, nor his inability to effectively communicate with his new comrades keep him from jumping in on a battle that he knew would quickly change the world.
In 2002, the brave Lafayette was given honorary American citizenship by Congress (posthumously, of course), nearly 166 years after Lafayette Square was given his name, more than 200 years after he first stepped foot on American soil, and 13 years before we opened our first Creamery on South 18thStreet. (Jonesin’ for more info on Lafayette? Here’s a quick link to everything you ever wanted to know about our neighborhood’s namesake.)
In the centuries since his heroic contributions, the Lafayette Square neighborhood has managed to do so much that would surely make him proud – and we’re not just talking about the fun flavors of our gourmet ice cream (although, we like to think that if he were alive today, he and his family would be lined up for a scoop once a week…at least).
- Lafayette Park was created by local ordinance in 1836, making it not only the oldest public park in St. Louis city, but the oldest park west of the Mississippi.
- After many decades in decline, Lafayette Square was named the city’s first historic district in 1972. This caught the attention of early St. Louis residents who began buying the stately homes and adorable storefronts for renovation. Today, most of the buildings have been restored to their original splendor.
- The Lafayette Park Community Garden at the corner of Park and Dolman is a natural haven for novice gardeners and green thumbs alike, and is currently home to the mint found in our Front Porch Mint ice cream!
- Representing an eclectic group of small businesses, the Lafayette Square Business Association has turned the neighborhood into a weekend, and evening destination.
- Thanks to the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee, the historic character of Lafayette Square will not be compromised, and legislation that supports preservation is a focal point of all who live in or visit our favorite neighborhood under the arch.
(Click here to learn a little more about our beloved neighborhood and all of its accomplishments, accolades, and attributes!)
Today in Lafayette Square, one can easily fill a day finding your center at yoga, lunch at one of the neighborhood’s numerous eateries, a stroll in the beautiful, shady Lafayette Park, shopping till your heart’s content at the shops on Park Ave., then satisfying your sweet tooth at Clementine’s Creamery.
But one thing you can’t do is ignore the overall kindness of the friendly faces that wave as they pass by. The tight-knit, friendly atmosphere found in every corner of Lafayette Square is what made Clementine’s founder Tamara Keefe freeze in her tracks. Having found her ‘one true love’ amid the neighborhood’s Victorian-style homes, she both works and resides in the neighborhood (and luckily for your tastebuds has no plan to leave any time soon!).
Granted, at first glance the residents of Lafayette Square may not seem like the hard-edged militia that Lafayette came to fight alongside – but next time you’re in the neighborhood take a look around at the brightly painted porches, the boisterous microbreweries, the innovative restaurant options, the eclectic boutiques, and the exotic flavors of our very own creamy creations, and it’s easy to see that rebellious spirit still thriving in each and every one of us.