Hot Block: Midtown Alley, St. Louis

 In Culture, Feature

This buzzworthy neighborhood is home to late-night nosh spots, chic nightlife venues, upscale loft developments and a community of creative types.


 In its 1920s heyday, the stretches of Locust, Olive and Washington bordered by Downtown Proper and Grand Center were a hub of St. Louis industry, most notably automotive. After many years of relative desolation, Midtown Alley has shifted into high gear with the opening of new eateries, nightlife hotspots, shopping and urban loft living. With these strides, the neighborhood and its pioneers have received lots of well-deserved attention, including making an appearance on our 2010 Buzz List.

Anytime I have guests in town, I always take them to Pappy’s Smokehouse. And that’s saying a lot considering I have peeps who hail from heavy-hitting barbecue cities like Texas and Kansas City. Pappy’s always impresses with its delicious Memphis-style barbecue, slow smoked for up to 14 hours—quite impressive to someone like me who barely has the patience to boil water. The BBQ here is so epic, it was featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.” The side items are just as mouthwatering—try the deep-fried corn on the cob and slather on the butter!

To say I have a sweet tooth would be a pathetic understatement. Sometimes, I’d rather forgo a square meal in favor of a box of candy. When I first discovered The Fountain on Locust—and its close proximity to my Downtown loft—I knew I’d never be but a two-minute drive to the nearest milkshake. But this place isn’t just a sugar-fiend’s dream; The Fountain on Locust’s stunning Art Deco interior and lounge-like vibe draws crowds for lunch and after-hours cocktailing. Any place that offers an ice cream martini is a no brainer in my book, friends.

Despite all of the yummy places to eat, Midtown Alley is more than just a place to stuff your face. On the corner of Locust and Garrison is Anatomy of Style, an adorable boutique that offers great accessories (Love the current headband craze? Score some good ones here), bath and beauty products and clothing from lines like ecoSkin and organiK Revolution.

For late-night lounging, Midtown Alley’s see-and-be-seen spot is EXO. Concepted by co-owners Fred Finley and Harry Michel, the upscale bar and club is more than just a nightclub. Here, friends and I relax and listen to live music or enjoy soulful fare. What’s more, parts of the 9,000 square-foot space can be reserved for private events.



Anatomy of Style

Anatomy of Style offers eco friendly clothing and cute accessories


The Fountain on Locust



Stop in EXO for late-night lounging


Photo credit: Exo photo by Liz Reiff Sloan; Anatomy of Style photo courtesy of Anatomy of Style.

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