Nightlife - St. Louis, Missouri


There are a number of entertainment areas throughout the greater St. Louis area, including three distinct regions within downtown St. Louis.

Laclede’s Landing, located on the riverfront, is home to a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, and other entertainment options, and some have a 3:00 a.m. liquor license. It is also home to two casinos—the President casino and the swanky new Lumière Place casino complex.

Just south of downtown is Soulard, a neighborhood of red brick buildings that house private residences, restaurants, bars, and some of the best live blues clubs in town. From locals’ favorites like BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, and the Broadway Oyster Bar to the internationally renowned McGurk’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, there’s almost always live music somewhere in this neighborhood. Soulard is the site of St. Louis’s annual Mardi Gras festivities, which include parades, parties, and lots of live music.

Washington Avenue is still a thriving area, but gone are the days when there was a dance club on every corner. Today the street bustles with a variety of bars, restaurants, shops, and galleries, as well as a handful of lounges. Rue 13 still has something to offer hipsters and clubgoers, along with nearby hot spot Pepper Lounge. The Side Bar is a newcomer to Washington, offering live music from local bands and large plasma TVs for sports fans, and Lucas Park Grille is a popular restaurant that serves as a prime place for those on the see-and-be-seen scene. The Flamingo Bowl is a combination bowling alley and martini bar, and Flannery’s offers a plethora of flat screen TVs for die-hard sports fans.

Farther west, Lafayette Square and the Central West End (CWE) each offer unique entertainment options. Lafayette Square is home to stylish restaurants and taverns, while the CWE has options ranging from cocktails (and people-watching) al fresco to tripping the light fantastic at the lively Club Viva for a night of salsa music and dancing.

Just west of the CWE, two tiny municipalities are becoming even more popular with those in search of excitement after sundown. The Loop neighborhood features live music at clubs like Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room, and Cicero’s, as well as a spectacular nightclub/concert venue called The Pageant. Maplewood is quickly becoming a mini bohemian gathering place, complete with trendy (and good) eateries like Maya Cafe, the Schlafly Bottleworks brewpub, and the historic bowling alley/bar known as Saratoga Lanes.

Westport, located in western St. Louis County, includes the Westport Plaza shopping/dining/hotel complex that’s home to popular eateries like Ozzie’s Restaurant & Sports Bar, Pujols 5 Westport Grill, the Trainwreck Saloon, and the Funny Bone Comedy Club. Other entertainment options nearby include a two-casinos-in-one Harrah’s complex and the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, site of dozens of concerts from top-name entertainers throughout the summer and early fall. (Locals still call it Riverport.)

And, no matter what part of town you’re in, you’re never far from a sports bar. St. Louis is one sports-crazed town—with good reason—and you can always find a place to watch the game or talk sports. Downtown, Mike Shannon’s Steak & Seafood restaurant has an upscale bar area with numerous flat screen TVs nearby Maurizio’s Pizza & Sports Cafe offers good pizza in a real “locals’” atmosphere. Maurizio’s is a popular stop prior to Rams games for the ultimate “low-maintenance” tailgate fare.

Almost all of the clubs and taverns listed in this chapter still allow smoking in at least some portion of the establishment. The majority of bars in town shut things down by 1:30 a.m., although there are a number of places with 3:00 a.m. liquor licenses. Cover charges are usually minimal or nonexistent on weeknights and vary widely from club to club on weekends.

If you plan to party in St. Louis, make sure you’re aware of the most up-to-date liquor laws and drunk-driving penalties. Both Missouri’s and Illinois’s definitions of legally drunk is .08, and DUI penalties are severe, so if alcohol is part of your evening, make sure that you have a designated driver or plan to cab your way around town. Carrying open containers of alcohol in your car is illegal, and it’s illegal to wander through the streets with a can or bottle of booze. Recent changes to Missouri’s liquor laws include moving Sunday sales back to 9:00 a.m. (in downtown) to allow for football tailgating. Not all bars in town serve food, so if you’re planning to eat, drink, and be merry, make sure that your pub of choice has more to offer than just snack mix.

Nightlife - Casinos

Riverboat gaming hit the St. Louis area like a firestorm in the mid-1990s, and while the actual “boat” aspect is mostly implied, casinos have proved to be a popular addition to the local entertainment scene. None of the boats actually cruise anymore—that was one of the original requirements for the facilities on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River—but no one seems to mind too much. Overall, there are six casinos located in the metropolitan area.

The Harrah’s casino in west St. Louis County took over its next-door neighbor, the former Player’s Casino, and turned the whole complex into one mega-casino with two separate themes. In fact, other than the themes, there are very few real differences in the St. Louis–area gaming facilities. You can find just about all of the same games and machines at all six casinos, and all will claim to have the “loosest slots” or boast the most winners. All the casinos offer free admission. Many of the venues offer restaurant and drink specials, along with a diverse assortment of live entertainment options, as well as free parking for high-rolling—and not-so-high-rolling—customers. So all that’s left to do is to ask the big question: Do you feel lucky?

1. Al Hrabosky’S Ballpark Saloon

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Address: 800 Cerre Street

2. Flannery’S

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 241-8885
Address: 1324 Washington Avenue

Description: Located in the newly revitalized Loft District, Flannery’s is a neighborhood gathering place and one of the best places in town to watch a game. The pub features multiple flat screen TVs, with each tuned to football, baseball, basketball or hockey. Depending on the crowd, the bartenders are usually happy to dial-up whatever game you’re looking for—unless you’re a Cubs fan—and put it on a screen near you. Flannery’s has a full bar and a respectable pub grub menu. Open daily.

3. Harry’S

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 421-6969
Address: 2144 Market Street

Description: Harry’s is well known among downtown businesspeople who frequent the restaurant for lingering lunches and after-hours colloquies. The room’s towering Palladian windows afford an unparalleled view of the city skyline. A smart, buoyant young crowd converges on Harry’s every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for live music on the expansive patio, which is also a festive place to carouse after a Cardinals, Rams, or Blues victory. In fact, you might even run into some of the players here.

4. Mike Shannon’S Steaks And Seafood

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Address: 620 Market Street

5. Morgan Street Brewery

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 231-9970
Address: 721 North Second Street

Description: Morgan Street Brewery is a warm and inviting place to have dinner or drinks, watch a game, or play some pool. The brewpub’s rich architecture and warm interior feature burnished wood, lots of exposed brick, and cozy nooks and corners. The main brewery building and adjacent Lodge, both more than 130 years old, are separated by a brick patio that is ideal for cafe -style dining during the warm-weather months. The kitchen is open late, and the pub serves a variety of domestic and imported beers in addition to its own microbrews, which include Honey Wheat, Golden Pilsner, Dark Wheat, Red Lager, Oatmeal Stout, Cobblestone Steam Lager, Mai-bock, Altbier, and Doppelbock. Try the “coniques,” deep fried mashed potato balls—they go great with beer.

6. Paddy O’S

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 588-7313
Address: 618 South Seventh Street

Description: On game days, members of Cardinal Nation trek to neighboring Paddy O’s for their pre- and post-game celebrations. This comfortable sports bar is a great place to hang out, play some pool, or people-watch, and the outside party scene is as much fun as the party inside. Chances are you’ll run into a baseball player or two, as this laid-back watering hole is often a post-game destination for members of the Cardinals and visiting teams.

7. Schlafly Tap Room

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 241-2337
Address: 2100 Locust Street

Description: The Tap Room microbrewery and brewpub features live music on the weekends and has a diverse selection of handcrafted Schlafly beers that are brewed on-site. The main dining room offers a great view of the brewery’s standpipes and other inner workings, and Daniel’s Den, a separate bar and game room area, features a jukebox, darts, TVs, pool, and foosball tables. Live bands perform occasionally, usually upstairs in a third bar area. Free parking in adjacent lot.

8. The Side Bar

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 621-7376
Address: 1317 Washington Avenue

Description: Sports fans and legal eagles flock to this casually upscale pub in the downtown loft district. Three large plasma TVs and a giant projection screen provide great views of whatever game or sport is being played at the moment, and the bar’s atmosphere makes it an enjoyable place to hang out. There’s live music on weekends, and the bar is a popular pre- and post-game gathering place for Cardinals, Rams, and Blues games. In addition to a respectable food menu and a selection of cocktails, beers, and wine, The Side Bar offers a variety of seasonal “mixology drinks” that feature muddled fruits mixed with liqueurs. One highlight is the pepper-infused vodka used to make Bloody Marys for Sunday brunch.

9. Espresso Mod

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 436-3240
Address: 210 North Ninth Street

Description: Voted “Best Coffeehouse” by St. Louis’s ALIVE magazine, Espresso Mod offers a cool, retro atmosphere and serves everything from cappuccinos to fresh brews. They also have breakfast pastries, paninis, sandwiches, and Italian-style gelato ice cream. Open Monday through Saturday.

10. The London Tea Room

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 241-6226
Address: 1520 Washington Avenue

Description: Designed to resemble the tea rooms found in the owner’s home country, this casual eatery features tea, espresso and coffee. They serve full Afternoon and Cream Teas, as well as fresh-baked pastries, scones, quiches, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Loose teas are available by the 1⁄4 pound. Open Tuesday through Sunday.

11. Mississippi Mud House

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 776-6599
Address: 2101 Cherokee Street

Description: This corner cafe in the historic Cherokee Street neighborhood offers gourmet, fresh roasted coffee, local wines, and specialty beers, along with homemade sandwiches, salads, and pastries. There’s a beautiful patio and access to free Wi-Fi. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

12. Roberts Orpheum Theater

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 588-0388
Address: 416 North Ninth Street

Description: Originally built as a vaudeville palace in 1917, the Roberts Orpheum Theater underwent an extensive renovation a couple of years ago and has been returned to its original “Parisian-style” splendor. Today the venue hosts a variety of events ranging from concerts and live theater and dance productions to corporate awards shows and private parties. The beautiful theater is located in the heart of the revitalized Loft District, just a block south of Washington Avenue and the America’s Center convention complex.

13. Scottrade Center

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 531-7887
Address: 1401 Clark Street

Description: Scottrade Center, home ice for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, is a 20,000-seat venue that hosts numerous athletic events, family entertainment shows, and live concerts throughout the year. The most innovative use of the facility is the Concert Club set-up, which essentially cuts the large arena down to a more intimate size of just 4,500 seats. The full-house seating arrangement hosts such big names as Bruce Springsteen, Avril Lavigne, Metallica, AC/DC, Eric Clapton, and the Dixie Chicks, while the Concert Club provides excellent acoustics and sight lines for smaller shows such as Sheryl Crow, B. B. King, and even the Bear in the Big Blue House children’s show. Tickets to all shows are available at the Scottrade Center box office (314) 421-4400 and through Ticketmaster (314) 241-1888.

14. Exo

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Address: 3146 Locust Street

Description: EXO is downtown St. Louis’s newest urban, premium “lifestyle entertainment space” featuring live local and national bands and DJs. The vibe varies nightly, so the featured tunes could be jazz one night, followed by R&B and hip-hop or house music and background lounge music. In addition to a kitchen serving Southern Creole fare, the bi-level venue features a dance floor, VIP area, cigar room, lounge areas, bottle service space, and patio. Open 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday.

15. Pepper Lounge

City: St. Louis, MO
Category: Nightlife
Telephone: (314) 241-2005
Address: 2005 Locust Street

Description: The Pepper Lounge has succeeded in combining warm and comfortable surroundings with a decidedly hip feel. There are actually two bar areas here, each offering somewhat different atmospheres. The front room features a large, speakeasy-type bar, hardwood floors, exposed brick, and subdued lighting. Down a short hallway and tucked behind the kitchen is the Lounge, a Vegas/1950s-style bar-within-a-bar that serves as the music and dancing room. From Thursday through Saturday nights, it’s one of the hottest places in downtown.
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