HandleBar: A Bike-Themed Social Staple of The Grove

 In City Guide, St Louis

While some nightspots cater to sports fans or spirits enthusiasts, HandleBar is the kind of place where people come simply to be among other people. The bicycle-themed bar in The Grove has the feel of a neighborhood hangout for the whole city. There’s entertainment most nights—including swing dancing, trivia, comedy and DJs—but even when the mics are quiet, people drop in for a drink alone or in small groups. The beer menu is satisfyingly long (20 on tap, plus a couple dozen more in cans and bottles) and the liquor specials are plentiful.

HandleBar’s accepting atmosphere leads to a diverse assortment of events, such as international dance parties, drag shows and sing-alongs. In keeping with its bicycle theme, it also serves as a jumping-off point for excursions, like a recent brewery tour.

The matryoshka doll on the bike rack out front hints at a second, more subtle theme, thanks to founder Tatyana Telnikova’s heritage. So if you see Russian specials on the chalkboard menus, give them a try. And if you don’t, go for the flatbread-style pizzas. Toppings range from classic mozzarella, bacon and veggies to nut-based vegan “cheese,” pesto and jackfruit. During happy hour (4-6 p.m. daily), pizzas are half price and draft beers are $1 off.

HandleBar: A Bike-Themed Social Staple of The Grove

While you’re in the neighborhood …

Layla
Middle Eastern (hummus, falafel and shawarma) meets American (gourmet burgers, milkshakes and bourbon) at this delightfully different eatery.

4317 Manchester Ave.
314.553.9252

Sameem Afghan Restaurant
The cuisine of Afghanistan may feel surprisingly familiar, and it quickly becomes comfort food at Sameem thanks to the home-like setting.

4341 Manchester Ave.
314.534.9500

Everest Café and Bar
For 15 years, Everest has drawn loyal fans with Nepalese, Korean and Indian dishes, especially for its lunch buffet.

4145 Manchester Ave.
314.531.4800

This story originally appeared in Guided: The Grove, available now at these locations and in a digital edition.

Photography courtesy of Carmen Troesser.

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