Hot Block: Downtown Clayton

 In Culture, Feature

This thriving neighborhood thrills with upscale boutiques, inspired art galleries, fine dining and cant-miss events.


There’s an effortless mix of hustle-and-bustle and laidback ease that I really enjoy about Downtown Clayton. During the day, business people rush from their offices to grab lunch and run errands. After dark, friends meet up to watch their team at a boisterous bar or groove to live music at a chic lounge. There’s also a more subdued side of Clayton where co-workers unwind with happy hour cocktails and couples enjoy romantic dinners al fresco. On the weekends, families happily stroll the Clayton Farmer’s Market, indulge in brunch or enjoy one of the many special events happening in Clayton during the summer months. It’s this combination of urban action and suburban relaxation that makes Downtown Clayton a Hot Block standout.

Many of the well-coiffed on ALIVE’s staff entrust their locks to the stylists at Dominic Michael, a salon every St. Louis woman worth her highlights knows about—or should. Owner Dominic Bertani and his team of professionals have been recognized both locally and nationally for their high-caliber cuts, color and styling. What’s more, the salon offers facial treatments, nail services and makeup lessons and application.

Next door to Dominic Michael is popular women’s boutique, Laurie Solet. Since opening in 2003, this shopping destination has brought Clayton fashion plates coveted designer lines from the pages of Lucky, InStyle and Vogue such as Diane Von Furstenberg, LaRok, Black Halo and Alexis Bittar. When you visit, Kortney, Laurie’s bubbly store manager, can help you find the perfect ensemble, whether you’re preparing for a first date, a wedding or going on vacation.

As if I needed any more reasons to want a puppy, there’s Lola & Penelope’s, a pet boutique with a cheerful lime-green awning and packed with adorable items for four-legged friends—jeweled collars, cute clothing (they even have a Juicy Couture line), dog houses, furniture and toys—as well as nutrition and spa treatments like facials, massages and “paw-dicures.” For a lively night of dinner and drinks with the girls, BARcelona is always at the top of my list for their delicious—and delightfully potent—cocktails and taste-bud-thrilling tapas. The Colioral Azafrán (roasted cauliflower with saffron, raisins and pine nuts over a bed of sautéed spinach) is superb, as are the Cajeta Churros, strawberry and caramel-stuffed pastries. On Wednesdays, my gals and I enjoy live music and sangria out on BARcelona’s see-and-be-seen sidewalk patio.

Each month, ALIVE spotlights a hot STL block and the shopping, dining, nightlife and cultural destinations that make it a standout. Tell us why your block is hot at We could be coming to your neighborhood next!


495_297.jpgSit and sip at the see and be seen BARcelona tapas restaurant.

496_297.jpgPamper and spoil your pooch with the goodies and services from Lola and Penelope’s.

498_297.jpgGet your shop on at Laurie Solet.

499_297.jpgPamper and spoil your pooch with the goodies and services from Lola and Penelope’s.


Photo credit: Photos by Carrie Iggulden

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