When St. Louis native Erica Willert and husband, Bryan, returned to the States after five years living in Shanghai, they chose University City for their new home because of its diversity and multicultural character. Bryan is executive VP of Willert Home Products and president of the company's Shanghai operations, while Erica is an agent with Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty. Sons Grant and Luke are members of the So iLL Rock Climbing team, avid snow-skiers and are keeping up on their Mandarin at St. Louis Modern Chinese School on the weekends. We asked Erica about what her family enjoys most in the neighborhood.
What are your favorite places to visit in University City?
We’re close to the Loop and all the restaurants there, Kayak Coffee, Forest Park and Washington University. We love Bobo Noodle House—it’s one of our favorite restaurants in the city. And my kids love Blueberry Hill because of the food, the staff and all of the memorabilia, and we also love Mission Taco and Seoul Taco.
What’s your neighborhood’s best-kept secret?
Our neighborhood itself has all these beautiful gardens and mature trees. They call our neighborhood the Urban Oasis, and that’s something that people who live here are very proud of: It’s urban, but you’re surrounded by this beautiful natural oasis.
Mary Matyiko, Laura McCarthy Real Estate
I’ve lived here for more than 10 years; and my husband and I met in University City. We love it: We’re on our third house and have three kids. The thing that’s unique about it is the diversity, which gives a great energy to the city. We have a variety of house styles and price ranges, so there’s something for everyone here, and a story behind every house. Also, the location can’t be beat: It’s walkable to the music scene, restaurants, Forest Park, entertainment and museums.