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Fresno’s Diner owner Pat Woods won't let setbacks stop her from helping College Hill neighborhood

Pat Woods talks about her efforts to re-open the sit-down eatery in her College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Pat Woods talks about her efforts to re-open the sit-down eatery in her College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.

Earlier this month, Fresno's Diner on E. Grand Boulevard suffered extensive damages when a pickup truck ran into the side of the building. Members of the community have started a campaign to help re-open the establishment.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with the local restaurant’s owner, Pat Woods, about her efforts to improve the College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.

The neighborhood hasn’t had a sit-down restaurant for the past 40 years. Woods said her vision in creating Fresno’s was to change that.

“You just stand in line, get your food and you go. And you see a lot of people sitting outside of those restaurants consuming their foods and I just think that’s unfair,” Woods said.

She hopes to re-open the restaurant in mid-January to continue the sit-down eatery. She also hopes to establish a farmer’s market next to the restaurant since there isn’t a grocery store nearby to provide fresh produce to the community.

Woods said the neighborhood suffers from violence and poverty, and isn’t receiving much help from the city.

“It’s almost as if it’s one of those forgotten areas of St. Louis, like we’re not really a part of St. Louis,” Woods said.

She wants to see more investment in the community by its own members.

“A lot of people are waiting for someone to come in and save us and do it for us, and I don’t think that’s going to happen,” she said.

Many have donated to help re-build the diner and a GoFundMe campaign was set up to raise funds for the repairs.

Listen for the full discussion:


St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.


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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.
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