Morgan Street Brewery is operated by the husband and wife team of Steve and Vicki Owings. The Owings are owners of the establishment along with Dennis Harper of Columbia, MO.
A native of Unionville, MO, Steve Owings attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he studied agricultural economics. He went to work for Harpo’s bar and restaurant to make some extra money and discovered he really enjoyed the bar and restaurant business.
Owings graduated from college and returned to St. Louis to pursue the restaurant business. In 1982, he found a location on Laclede’s Landing and, with the support of Dennis and Randy Harper, opened another Harpo’s restaurant and bar on N. First Street. In 1984, they opened a second restaurant on Laclede’s Landing called Sundecker’s Bar & Grill that caters to the sports crowd and business lunch patrons.
A St. Louis native, Vicki also attended the University of Missouri-Columbia. They were married in 1988.
By the mid-1990’s, Steve and Dennis had sold Harpo’s and were ready for the next challenge. In May 1995, they acquired the former Schoelhorn-Albrecht Machine building, which had been last occupied in the mid-1980’s by the Second Street Diner. The restaurant opened in September of 1995, and they were brewing their first beer in November.
The property was cleared in 1791 and was the site of the freeing of the first Mulatto slave, Esther. The building was constructed more that 120 years ago and is one of the oldest building on the Landing. Originally, it was used by the Schoelhorn-Albrecht Machine Company, where they manufactured capstans for the Mississippi River barges and shipping steamboat engines and deck equipment used during the Gold Rush. As you walk up Morgan Street towards Third Street, you will notice that the sidewalks are uneven, concealing a room underneath Morgan which was used to hide run-away slaves.
For more information about Laclede’s Landing and building history, we invite to you to visit www.lacledeslanding.com/lacledes-landing-history/