7 South City Hangouts for a Casual Pub Crawl
St. Louis has an abundance of gin joints and dive bars that have passed the test of time. Practically every neighborhood in South City has a standard watering hole where locals can stop by after a long day’s work or let loose on a Saturday night. These seven bars, tucked into the lesser-known corners, all deliver when it comes to a stiff drink.
1. Riley’s Pub
If you find yourself in the Tower Grove East neighborhood on a Wednesday night, stop by Riley’s Pub to hear a band of Irish performers gathered around a long table, each with a pint of beer. This cozy corner bar, nestled at the junction of Arsenal and Arkansas, offers daily drink deals and the simplest, most satisfying St. Louis-style pizza. It’s the perfect spot to order a pint, feed the jukebox and claim a booth with friends.
2. Colorado Bob’s Ship of Fools
If you’re driving along Morgan Ford and see a bar with a sailboat and tropical plants out front, you’ll know you’re at your destination. Colorado Bob’s Ship of Fools is truly the first of its kind. The owner’s Key West roots inspired the bar’s nautical theme, taking form in the large wooden ship wheel on the bar, decorative swordfish, pirate flags and submarine window. This neighborhood watering hole is a no-frills South City favorite.
3. Milo’s Bocce Garden
Residents of The Hill take their bocce games very seriously, as demonstrated by the setup in the back of Milo’s Bocce Garden. The outdoor patio has two full-sized bocce courts with a scoring system, a large print of standard rules and good practices and plenty of seats for onlookers. Inside, the beer is cheap, the meatballs are bountiful and the Italian regulars are great for people-watching.
For the people of Shaw, this jazz bar is the venue of choice for both cheap drinks and fresh Mexican street food. In warmer weather, guests at Thurman’s sit outside under decorative string lights and enjoy one of the many sources of entertainment including trivia on Tuesdays, “Deep Dive Vinyl Spin” on Wednesdays and live jazz the remainder of the week. A conveniently timed and priced happy hour takes place at 10 p.m. nightly.
5. The Silver Leaf Lounge
The Silver Leaf Lounge stakes its claim in South City with an old Busch sign and an American flag waving out into Hereford Street. The black-and-white sign lets customers know that things are kept simple here: just classic drinks and classic music, coming from an old jukebox in the corner. The warm pink lights glow over your table to let you know that it is time to drink.
6. Irish Corner Pub
Just down Cherokee Street from the historic Lemp Mansion is Irish Corner Pub, which holds true to its name. The interior is decorated with kitschy Irish memorabilia and dart boards, but a classic wooden bar serves up classics like Guinness, Magners, Harp and an extensive list of whiskeys. An spacious back patio with greenery is perfect for warmer weather. Indoors, local bands perform over the weekends—and don’t miss the Saturday-afternoon Irish music sessions.
7. Friendly’s Sports Bar
Friendly’s Sports Bar & Grill feels like an arcade for adults, complete with Stag and cigarettes. A true neighborhood institution just south of Tower Grove Park (not to be confused with a bar of the same name in South County), it offers shuffleboards, Foosball tables, dome hockey and pool tables galore, plus TV screens playing every sports game one could ever want, or not want, to watch. Weather permitting, those wanting to play bags can venture out to the heated patio.
Featured image courtesy of Caravel Productions.