St. Louis After Dark
101 places to dance, dine, rev up and unwind in STL.
No matter your mood, St. Louis has scores of things to do after the sun goes down. Check out ALIVE’s annual nightlife guide and make your plans accordingly.
HIT THE DANCE FLOOR
It’s Saturday night and you’re ready to shake off the week. The DJs at these clubs will have you on the floor all night—choose your shoes accordingly.
Hip-hop resonates on Delmar, and you can hear plenty of it at 609. The only temptation to leave the dance floor comes from the specialty cocktails and late-night menu. If only it weren’t so hard to dance and drink at the same time. The Loop, 314.721.9168.
With its strikingly modern decor, this gay bar shows the sophisticated side of the Manchester strip. And if things get too hot on the dancefloor with the house-meets-Top 40 tunes, cool off in the walk-in VodBox vodka cooler. The Grove, 314.652.7195.
Take a trip around the world every Saturday night at the bigger-and-better resurrected version of this club that’s beloved by Old World transplants—and so it keeps European hours, going strong until 5am. Downtown, 314.621.5111.
If you’re looking to dance on Laclede’s Landing, Fusion is the place to go. It took over the Club Buca space last year and revamped it, with bottle service and all the other amenities clubgoers have come to expect. Downtown, 314.241.3873.
The resident DJs keep the dance floor packed in this Ameristar Casino club, but add celebrities like DJ AM, Tiesto or Paul Van Dyk and things really get crazy. St. Charles, 636.940.4333.
The Loading Zone
Head to the Showtune Extravaganza for a groovy Tuesday—yes, Tuesday—and you’ll find yourself coming back weekends for drink specials, video dance parties and drag queens. The crafty owners (who also run Erney’s 32°) know how to lure you in. Central West End, 314.361.4119.
Don’t let the jazz club name mislead you—the dance vibes flow whether it’s Thursday for divas, Friday for live music (including Cafe Soul) followed by a house party, or Saturday for a 104.1FM live hip-hop broadcast. Midtown, 314.225.2505.
No matter where the DJ crew of this high-energy dance party sets up shop (currently at The Gramophone) it’s a guaranteed funky, danceable mix of Britpop, ska, New Wave, indie and punk. The Grove, 314.531.5700.
The Pepper Lounge
Go retro in the warm glow of The Pepper Lounge, where DJs Big D, Steve Meier and Hugh Tyson mash up your favorite old tunes with hot new Top 40, hip-hop, rock and house. Downtown, 314.241.2005.
An underground dance club in every way except its actual physical location (above Mekong), this is the place to go for an eclectic, loud and unpredictable alternative to the see-and-be-seen scene. DJs spin every night of the week. South Grand, 314.773.3388.
DO THE BAR HOP
It’s a perfect summer evening and the night is young. Make the most of it and try these all-within-a-block-or-two destinations.
Central West End
Cafe Eau (212 N. Kingshighway Blvd.) is nothing like you’d imagine a hotel bar to be—but then, the Chase Park-Plaza is not your typical hotel. Night mingles moviegoers and private partiers and travelers. Up the road a bit, Bar Italia (13 Maryland Plaza) is known for its Italian food but revered for its infused spirits and wide-ranging cocktail menu, best enjoyed in the Luna Lounge. Bar Louie (14 Maryland Plaza) is no slacker on the mixed drinks either, but its late-night nibbles are what will fuel your drive home.
Sophistication is the order of the night, starting home cooking that’s a step above your mom’s at Barrister’s (15 N. Meramec Ave.). It’s all business at the sports bars, like the ever-popular baseball-themed J.Buck’s (101 S. Hanley Rd.) or the hockey haven of J.P. Fields (26 N. Central Ave.). To end the evening, sip a specialty cocktail in style at Bar Napoli (7754 Forsyth Blvd.).
Enjoy Peruvian fare and pisco sours at Mango (1101 Lucas Ave.) Downtown before completing your world travels at The Dubliner (1025 Washington Ave.), with Irish whiskey and pub fare. Both offer late-night drink specials—and the kitchens stay open until the wee hours at both Mosaic and The Dubliner.
For a Friday happy hour that lasts all afternoon, check into Rehab (4054 Chouteau Ave.). Then catch a show or just celebrate the fact that every Friday is men’s night at Nancy’s Place (4510 Manchester Ave.). Once the evening is in full swing, hit the dance floor at Just John’s (4112 Manchester Ave.).
Manly pleasures abound on The Landing. There’s the “strip joint” and barbecue shack Jake’s Steaks (708 N. Second St.) to fill your carnivorous desires, the sports on the screens at Sundecker’s (900 N. First St.), and the hand-crafted specialty lagers at Morgan Street Brewery (721 N. Second St.). Take your time sampling the draft beer menu—Morgan Street is open until 2:30am.
If you’re itching for a good debate on taboo topics like politics and religion, you’ll find it weeknights at The Royale (3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd.), where you can talk it out over one of the best signature cocktails in town. Wrap up the evening at Three Monkeys (3153 Morgan Ford Rd.) for the late-night happy hour with beer, drink AND food specials Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10pm to midnight.
There’s nowhere better than the patio at McGurk’s (1200 Russell Blvd.) to start a Saturday night out, with a pint and a basket of Irish chips. A short stroll brings you to Joanie’s Pizzeria (2101 Menard St.), where they keep the Provel where it belongs: on the salads. For live music, it’s hard to go wrong in Soulard. Two worth checking out are The Library (706 Lafayette Ave.) for its up-and-coming, hard- charging bands and Hammerstone’s (2028 S. Ninth St.) for late-night blues, rock and jazz.
Decisions, decisions. Go sporty and casual for buckets of Bud at The Side Bar (1317 Washington Ave.), followed by a couple of pints Flannery’s Pub (1324 Washington Ave.) Or sashay over to dance for hours in the luxurious, all-white realm of Lure (1204 Washington Ave.) Whatever you decide, a good time is guaranteed.
Looking to unwind over a well-mixed cocktail? These lounges are less about blasting your eardrums and more about socializing. Kick back and let the night begin.
Black Label Lounge
Its art-plus-music-plus-baseball vibe draws in a wide cross-section to The Label. Some come to admire the gallery, some to hang with the DJs, some to sip a potent post-game Long Island tea and some to snarf down the chicken and waffles until 4am. Downtown, 314.621.1929.
Many lounges try to evoke an artistic East Coast attitude, but few succeed like this urban hang suite. The expansive two-level space has plenty of quiet nooks, should the soulful music put you in the mood to whisper sweet nothings. Midtown, 314.534.1500.
The In Spot
Forget about the calories and indulge in deliciousness at this chic dessert bar and lounge. Six-layer carrot cake; poached pear with brie in Riesling; chocolate truffle Italian ice cream with Godiva caramel liqueur. Need we go on? The Loop, 314.454.6969.
Did you know George Clooney was here? Yes, his visit was so last year, but this Asian-themed lounge is just as hip now as it was then. From the rooftop patio to the resident DJs to the comfy intimate booths, St. Louisans still love everything about Mandarin. Central West End, 314.367.4447.
The upper floor of Brennan’s is a neighborhood hangout—one with good wine and strong cocktails. What else would you expect from a lounge that shares space with a Scotch cellar in the basement and a ground-floor wine shop? Central West End, 314.361.9444.
A lounge-within-a-lounge, an attic hideaway, a cozy cocktail oasis. By making an old game room into a dance space, complete with its own DJ, Sol cleverly gave its customers a reason to trek up three flights of stairs. Central West End, 314.266.8446.
Revolve Rotating Lounge
You’ll have to pay attention to keep up with this innovative party. It launched in March at City Hall after the Jay-Z concert, but it’s a lounge on the move. Wherever it pops up next, the organizers promise an upscale nightlife experience. Revolvelounge.com.
An underground lounge in the truest sense, this Art Deco bar recaptures the mystique of Prohibition-era speakeasies by making guests enter through the alley. Knowing the password will get you in the door for a discounted cover. Downtown, 314.241.3279.
SIP & SUP LATE NIGHT
You’re famished, but it’s 10pm and the kitchens are closing—or are they? These restaurants offer night owls way more atmosphere than the nearest taco drive-thru.
Spacious and stylish, this destination serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine featuring locally sourced produce and meats until 10:30pm Friday and Saturday.
The wine list offers dozens of glasses and scores of bottles. Clayton, 314.725.6777.
Authentic Spanish tapas like empanadas, albondigas and paella until 11pm will have you saying Ole! Go ahead, spice up the night in Clayton.
The cocktail list is a splash of coastal sunshine, with plenty of rum, juice and sparkling wine. Clayton, 314.863.9909.
Chi’s a perfect mix of cosmopolitan trendiness and laid-back neighborhood bar; it’s a 21st-century Cheers with sake cocktails and sushi until 10:30pm Friday and Saturday.
The cold premium (ginjo) sake will be a revelation if you’re used to the warm stuff. Central West End, 314.367.2209.
The Drunken Fish
We couldn’t pick which is our favorite Drunken Fish location, but luckily all offer the late-night menu of edamame, gyoza, stir-fry and select rolls every night from 10:30pm to closing. Order from the full menu until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Westport, 314.275.8300, CWE, 314.367.4222, Laclede’s Landing, 314.241.9595.
Select signature martinis are only $4 (barely more than a Bud!) on the late-night menu.
If the weather’s nice, the rooftop patio overlooking The Loop stays open until 2am. If it’s not, no worries. Every night of the week, you can dine that late in the space-age restaurant on upscale dishes like foie gras, mussels and sweetbreads.
The classic cocktails prove libations that were around before Sputnik haven’t lost their shine. The Loop, 314.726.2222.
A Downtown Mexican cantina where gringos are welcome to discover tacos, burritos and quesadillas in traditional taqueria style until 1am weeknights, 3am Friday and Saturday and 11:30pm Sunday.
Margaritas, claro. When you’re surrounded by Day of the Dead imagery, it’s hard to imagine drinking anything that’s not Mexican. Downtown, 314.588.0055.
The Fountain on Locust
This Midtown Art Deco soda fountain is a sweet spot to indulge in soups, sandwiches, ice cream and chocolate until midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
The ice cream martinis are divinely addictive. Midtown, 314.535.7800.
Herbie’s Vintage 72
French fare in the classy dining room and comfort food in the casual bistro until 10:30pm weeknights and 11pm weekends make this CWE landmark a prime place for dining late.
The wine list, like the menus, focuses on French and American vintages. Central West End, 314.769.9595.
St. Louisans got first peek at the chain’s new small-plates menu. Our verdict: a winner. In Brentwood, the test-market dishes and the regular fare are available until 11pm Monday to Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.’
While choosing where to sit, note the happy hour prices on select cocktails, spirits, wines and beers in the bar from 10pm to close. Multiple locations, 314.863.9116.
Fusion fare at this chic Westport vodka bar means wonton tacos, green tea chicken and chorizo-stuffed dates. On Tuesdays, sample the “social hour” menu until midnight.
The sangria flight looks almost too good to drink. Almost. Creve Coeur, 314.542.2000.
Pizza-lovers flock to this little storefront for the fresh mozzarella and perfect crusts. The more adventurous eaters are seduced by the exotic toppings like squash blossom, pine nuts and shrimp. The kitchen stays open to midnight or later from Wednesday to Saturday, especially on warm summer evenings when the patio is full of hungry customers.
The wine list’s not particularly long, but all the choices go great with pizza. DeMun, 314.727.8585.
Lucas Park Grille
The vibe says “nightlife” but nobody told the kitchen that upscale urban party spots typically don’t have great seafood, steaks and salads. Serving until midnight Friday and Saturday.
Bottle service here means wine from the extensive list. Downtown, 314.241.7770.
The centerpiece of the main-floor expansion is the sushi bar, where diners can watch the chefs in action until 10:30pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at this Clayton nightspot.
Sample Japanese brewing with Sapporo beers or good-quality chilled sakes. Clayton, 314.863.7888.
Two of the trendy pizzeria’s three locations (The Loop, 314.727.6633, and CWE, 314.367.4300) keep the ovens hot until midnight Monday through Saturday.
Both the wine and cocktail menus offer organic options, keeping with the restaurant’s green image.
Roxane’s global cuisine defies easy classification as it spins around the world from the American Southwest to France, Hungary and Asia. The late-night menu’s available until 12:30am Monday to Saturday.
Happy hour runs from 11pm to close every night. Clayton, 314.721.7700.
For Latin American tapas until midnight Tuesday and Wednesday and 1am Thursday through Saturday, take a seat under the metal tree in the bar area.
Sample a flight of potent Peruvian pisco or trust the expert mixologists with their drink of the night. The Grove, 314.535.9700.
Sub Zero Vodka Bar
Sushi and burgers may seem incongruous to the uninitiated, but the combo works. Both foods are crave-worthy late at night, and Sub Zero offers them until midnight Sunday to Thursday and until 1:30am Friday and Saturday.
The bar offers more than 200 vodkas and many flavorful infusions. Belly up to the ice bar, because there’s bound to be one that’s perfect for you. Central West End, 314.367.1200.
Taste by Niche
The little space adjoining Benton Park’s most-talked-about restaurant serves budget-friendly examples of the kitchen’s skill until 12:30am Tuesday to Saturday.’
Dare to experiment with cocktail ingredients like duck fat, Japanese whiskey or absinthe—or, for $8, let the bartender surprise you. Benton Park, 314.773.7755.
BRING OUT YOUR INNER SUPER FAN
Looking to watch the Cardinals, but not from the lumpy confines of your couch? Head to a sports bar where the screens are flat, the beer is cold and the servers know better than to interrupt a full count to Albert Pujols.
A rehabbed warehouse within sight of Busch Stadium makes a fitting home for a sports-themed restaurant tied to legendary Cardinals announcer Jack Buck and the children who followed him to the broadcast chair, Joe and Julie. Downtown, 314.436.0394.
It’s true that not everyone who packs the place for happy hour is into events on the field, but you’ll find plenty of die-hard sports fans. The dining room’s long rows of TVs make it easy to keep track of multiple events at once. Ladue, 314.994.0055.
Mike Shannon’s Seafood and Steaks
Long before Downtown’s rebirth, pro athletes hung out at this steakhouse—and they still do, now joined by hundreds of fans before and after Cards games on the outdoor patio, The Outfield, which overlooks Busch Stadium. Downtown, 314.421.1540.
Care to make a friendly wager? We bet you’ll love this place whether you have tickets to the game or just want to watch on the 37 indoor TVs and outdoor patio projection screen. Downtown, 314.621.8881.
The Post Sports Bar and Grill
This WiFi-enabled Maplewood sports bar is nirvana for fantasy leagues. If you’re in one already, great—if not, join theirs, for a single sport or across all the major leagues. Maplewood, 314.645.1109.
Come in for the pregame show, because that’s the only way you’ll get a seat at this popular watering hole. Among the usual bar foods, the chicken tenders stand out. Ladue, 314.991.3381.
St. Louis SportsZone
Everything about this shrine to sports is bigger than life: the 7,500-square-foot restaurant and bar, the five HDTV projection screens, the colossal menu of beloved bar foods. It’s a champion on the sports bar scene. Shrewsbury, 314.961.3366.
GET YOUR GAME ON
It’s payday and there’s extra cash burning a hole in your pocket. Hitting the poker tables or hustling pool is a sure bet for a good time. Grab your lucky charm and try your luck at these St. Louis destinations.
Its resemblance to Vegas “cities” makes a walk through Ameristar highly entertaining, even before you arrive at the casino. The 3,000 video poker and slot machines whir on all sides, but it’s quieter in the poker room and—we can only imagine—reverently hushed in the private high-stakes room. St. Charles, 636.940.4300.
If the money in your pocket is jingling rather than burning, your best bets are the quarter roulette wheel and $2 blackjack tables. Win or lose, you can afford the free cover at Sevens Lounge. East St. Louis, 800.777.0777.
The Library Annex
College guys will bet on anything, and this popular bar gives them plenty of opportunities for showing each other up at darts, foosball, pool, quarters or even beer pong. There’s also the endlessly challenging game of getting numbers on the dance floor. Midtown, 314.652.8484.
Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel
The gaming floor has stiff competition from the casino’s other attractions. Play awhile, then eat at world-class chef Hubert Keller’s Sleek and Burger Bar. Catch a show at the theater. Or celebrate at the Four Seasons. Downtown, 314.881.7777.
St. Louis loves a good retro-kitschy theme, and the pin-up girls at this bowling alley fit the bill perfectly. It’s small, so you may have to wait for a lane, but the cocktails help kill time. The Loop, 314.727.5555.
River City Casino
The newest casino in town ups the ante with 2,100 slots and video poker machines and 55 table games—including intro lessons in the poker room—plus five restaurants and two bars in the $380 million complex. South County, 314.388.7777.
It’s beach season, and that means sand volleyball and bikini contests. Your second-best option to booking a flight to California is heading Downtown to this laid-back oasis. The action on the court is still going strong after sundown. Downtown, 314.241.8226.
MAKE A DATE WITH THE GIRLS
It’s ladies’ night—dinner, drinks and dessert are all on the agenda. Match your mood with one of these top spots to spend an evening with the gals.
Beer isn’t just for the boys
Tap house meets wine bar at Bridge, the new spot from Dave Bailey (Rooster, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar). It’s a vibrant, modern space that’s all about the voluminous wine, beer and cheese lists. Downtown, 314.241.8141.
Eau so sweet
Specialty martinis go on sale for $4.99 at Cafe Eau Thursdays and Fridays during the 5pm-7pm happy hour, and any budget-conscious lady will find that very attractive. Add the ambiance of an indoor ice bar and outdoor fireplace and we’re happy shoppers. CWE, 314.454.9000.
Glasses and gossip
There’s just something so satisfying about enjoying a good glass of vino with the girls. And at Branica Wine Bar, you can enjoy a variety of white and reds by the glass, in 3 or 6 ounces, or by the bottle, inside the classy bar or outside on the beautiful patio. Kirkwood, 314.909.7575.
Moonlight and music
An evening on Table Three’s lovingly manicured patio invites shared confidences, perfect for a catch-up gossip session over salad and flatbread pizza from the bar menu with live music on Friday and Saturday as a backdrop. Wildwood, 636.458.4333. For an extended interview and multimedia extras, log on to alivemag.com
A red hot destination
The Italian-inspired menu takes full advantage of the in-house pizza oven, and the modern decor elevates Red Kitchen & Bar above your standard hotel restaurant (Hyatt Regency St. Louis). Hit up this spot with the girls for small plates and classic cocktails. Downtown, 314.259.3244.
Smooth, creamy seduction
Gelato! What were you thinking? Gelateria’s not that kind of place—and it’s all the more popular for being a nighttime spot where the biggest vices are sugar and caffeine. South Grand, 314.776.3500.
Tired of letting guys pick the music? Check out DJ Jenuendo until 3am weekends at Mosaic Lounge. The late-night happy hour during her set adds another reason to make this a weekly girls’ night out destination. Downtown, 314.621.6001.
Spice up girls’ night
Club Viva’s Latin Nights on Thursdays bring out the salsa dancer in women from every culture. Learn the moves at 8pm (no need to bring a partner) and an hour later you’re ready for whatever the live bands or video DJs bring on. Central West End, 314.361.0322.
Time to unwind
Robust is a popular wine bar for girlfriends to gather after work, perhaps because it puts everyone on equal footing. Those who know wine appreciate the selection; those who don’t can easily find a glass they’ll like among flavor profiles like luscious, generous and soft-hearted. Webster Groves, 314.963.0033.
The luxurious fabrics and colors at Aya Sofia bring to mind the pampering that harem beauties received. But instead of fighting for a sultan’s attention, you’ll be maneuvering for the last meze on the platter. South City, 314.645.9919.
PARK IT ON A PATIO
It’s a perfect summery evening, too nice to be stuck indoors, and you’re looking for not just a unique patio, but one with character. Check out these top spots to sip and socialize al fresco.
The nuclear-cowgirl-from-the-past mascot would have liked the open-sided Quonset (that big metal roof) and the slightly untamed aspect to the bonfire on the patio. She’d be jammin’ with the live bands and diggin’ into the Baja Mexican menu. The Grove, 314.775.0775.
There’s no better open-air view of the Arch and riverfront than the one from the eighth-floor rooftop of the Four Seasons Hotel. The cuisine matches the setting—elegant and romantic but not pretentious. Downtown, 314.881.5800.
The rehabbed Cupples warehouse has a modern loft ambiance, complete with the best feature of downtown dwelling: a rooftop deck. For happy hour or Cardinals games, this restaurant and bar draws ‘em in like a magnet. Downtown, 314.436.0394.
The combination of Molly’s patio with Norton’s patio created a crown jewel among Soulard’s many lovely brick backyards. The multi-level hideaway is best enjoyed from a cabana, if you can snag one. Soulard, 314.241.6200.
Main Street St. Charles may have a reputation for historic festivals and cute shops, but Q blows up that mold. The rooftop patio has all the amenities of an urban club, including couches and bottle service. St. Charles, 636.443.2211.
The second-floor open-air biergarten is a nod to St. Louis’ German brewing and beer-drinking heritage. The lunch and dinner menu from the Kaffee Haus downstairs tastes all the better in the sunshine. Ladue, 314.993.4100.
The Scottish Arms
The simple wood-fenced patio is a fitting spot for drinking whisky with a plate of Scotch eggs and sausages on the table. The late-night happy hour PBR would also be appropriate. We’ll raise ours to laidback bar owners in kilts. Central West End, 314.535.0551.
Smoking Joe’s Bar-Be-Que
This is no ‘que shack. From a picture, you’d think the loft-style decor fits right in on Washington Avenue. But once you get your hands on those ribs, it’s all about paper napkins and lickin’ fingers and outdoors is the perfect setting. Downtown, 314.436.3876.
ENJOY ROMANTIC BLISS
It’s a late-night rendezvous, just the two of you. Chocolate, wine, candles at a quiet table…cue the romantic music.
Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
They’ve made seduction simple: Order The Lover’s Plate—enough edible aphrodisiacs for two—and take turns dipping fruit and nuts for each other. The rest, we’ll leave to your imagination. Lafayette Square, 314.241.8100.
Bissinger’s a Chocolate Experience
Go out for “choctails” and dessert until midnight Thursday to Saturday at this offshoot of the renowned chocolatier. Wines, fortified wines, coffees, teas and other beverages that pair well with chocolate are also on the menu. Central West End, 314.367.7750.
At first, this high-ceilinged space may feel stark, but the service is so warm and friendly that you’re soon curled up into chairs, sharing truffles and wine, with eyes only for each other. Swing by for a calvados heart truffle until 11:30pm Fridays and Saturdays. Downtown, 314.345.1200.
Jimmy’s on the Park
Live jazz Friday and Saturday. Single-malt Scotches. A late-night dinner menu until midnight on weekends. A bottomless jar of pasta crunchers. And you, the key ingredient. What more could he ask
This is a special-occasion restaurant that’s approachable enough to make Hump Day a good reason for a late-night dinner (Tuesday to Saturday until 11:30pm) or drink in the wine bar (until 1:30am). Maplewood, 314.644.3995.
Moolah Theatre & Lounge
Snuggle on the loveseat for the last screening of the night (maybe talk him into Sex and the City 2 at the end of May). Cocktails and popcorn go pretty well together, just FYI. Midtown, 314.446 6806.
Sasha’s on Shaw
The large back room is best for romance, with its unexpected design touches (wine-bottle light fixtures, granite cheese plates and walkways that make the servers look as if they’re floating) adding to a sense of anticipation. South City, 314.771.7274.
HEAR LIVE MUSIC
It’s always a good night to hear live music in St. Louis. The clubs book all kinds of beats, from blues to rock, hip-hop to alt-country, and pretty much everything in between. Gather your music-lovin’ friends and catch a show.
Acts come from near (Chuck Berry, appearing every month) and far (soloist Aqualung from the U.K., appearing May 6) to play the Duck Room. Hard to believe a place this cool opened way back in 1972. The Loop, blueberryhill.com
Broadway Oyster Bar
There’s blues, jazz, bluegrass or rock every night of the week (and two shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday) at this Cajun-inspired restaurant and bar. Downtown, broadwayoysterbar.com.
Everything about this up-and-coming club gets better every time we check it out, from the diverse local bands and national tours it books to the selection at the bar. Follow the tweets (@ firebirdstl) for last-minute lineup changes. Downtown, firebirdstl.com.
The Fox Hole
The scene at Atomic Cowboy migrates west to this annex for concerts, comedy shows and other events that have outgrown the original venue. The Grove, atomiccowboystl.com.
It’s built a reputation for great music steadily over the past two years. And its blog is one of the best places around for educating music fans and encouraging them to get outside their comfort zones and try something new. The Grove, thegramophonelive.com
Though it does have seated shows early on Thursdays, it’s hard to think of this off-the-beaten-track bar as anything but the consummate elbow-to-elbow beer joint with live music. Benton Park, offbroadwaystl.com.
The Old Rock House
The three-story, red-brick rehab offers several ways to experience a show. Hang out in front of the stage and jam with the band, kick back with a drink and relax, or concentrate on the barbecue and listen to the music with half an ear. Downtown, oldrockhouse.com.
The 10-year-old concert venue promises that all ticketholders will be within 70 feet of the stage, even when it’s full of 2,300 fans. After the main show, the music continues at The Halo Bar, which books its own DJs and bands. The Loop, thepageant.com.
Resident jazz and R&B pianist Tony Simmons and vocalist Cheryl Brown put a whole new spin on “dinner music” Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Scape’s energy level ratchets up a notch when they’re in the house. Central West End, scapestl.com.
Schlafly Tap Room
Our city’s biggest microbrewer says it’s in the business of beer and parties, not music, but its eclectic live music calendar always manages to stay full Thursday to Sunday. The same goes for its satellite brewing location, the Bottleworks in Maplewood. Downtown, myspace.com/schlaflybeer.
Sasha’s on Sha
Photo credit: Photos by Jonathan Pollack