STL AFTER DARK: DOWNTOWN

A neighborhood guide to St. Louis’ top spots to sip, socialize, and shake it on the dance floor.

 

DOWNTOWN
SOULARD/ LAFAYETTE SQUARE/ BENTON PARK/ MIDTOWN

New hotspots add distinct flavor to an already happening scene.

Absinthe Bar at Lola
Lola was already a great place to hear DJs and grab late-night nosh, but with the addition of the attached Absinthe Bar (the city’s one and only), expect expanded crowd seating and a second space for music. Whether the night brings funk, jazz, electronica or rock, you’ll want to sip an absinthe-laced cocktail (try the popular Hemingway with citrus-infused absinthe, violet liqueur and champagne) while you listen. 500 N. 14th St., 314.621.7277.

Prime 1000

The lounge is the best place to really take in the full effects of this totally redesigned space. Yes, the VIP loft is cozy. Yes, the dining area is elegant and sophisticated (and the dry-aging shelves are fascinating; Prime ages its steaks on-site). But the lounge, with its colorful, custom-designed lanterns, is chic, fun and will leave you basking i its glow. 1000 Washington Ave., 314.241.1000.

Copia Urban Winery
Fans waited months, then years, for Copia’s reopening after a devastating fire. It’s hard to avoid the whole phoenix-from-the-ashes cliché because the new Copia really is lovely—and big. There’s the lounge, the bar and the wine garden (with a very handy retractable roof ). Cue the triumphant music. 1122 Washington Ave.,314.241.9463.

Rosalita’s Cantina

Wash Ave.’s first Tex-Mex joint is a two-story monument to the allure of chiles and tequila. The chiles come stuffed, sliced, diced, roasted-even baked in muffins. The tequila flows into margaritas, where it mingles with fresh-squeezed lime juice and a couple other ingredients that bar manager Juan Carlos says he needs to keep close to the vest (who knew there was espionage in Margaritaville?) For a late-night nosh, try the empanadas with braised pulled pork or the triple taco plate. 1235 Washington Ave., 314.621.2700.

The Jive & Wail Dueling Pianos

Bachelorettes and birthday partiers followed their favorite dueling pianos from Maplewood to the new Downtown digs without missing a beat. The best way to enjoy the show is with a group— and a reservation—because elbowing your way through bridesmaids is almost as bad as crashing a wedding. 1227 Washington Ave., 314.781.7000.

Shiver
When it comes to Shiver’s ice chamber, the lower the temperature, the hotter the fun. For $20 you can spend 30 minutes sipping two drinks on a seat of ice at 15 degrees. But if memories of winter are still too fresh, you can enjoy the chic vodka bar experience—minus the insulated parka and gloves. 1130 Washington Ave., 314.241.3900.

Lumiére Place Casino & Hotel
No matter what time you get there, the night is young at Downtown’s only casino. Night owls of all feathers flock for the 24/7 gambling action, but it’s a safe bet that you’ll also see athletes and entertainers winding down after their workday ends, grabbing a bite to eat at restaurants like Stadium Sports (36 beers on tap and 50 TVs), Asia (Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, plus sushi served until 2am) or Burger Bar (Hubert Keller’s temple to ground meat sizzles until 1am weekends). Not hungry? Catch live music over cocktails at Aqua (until 3am weekends). If you’re still up at sunrise, you have two options: a nightcap at Globar (until 8am weekends) or coffee for the drive home at Peet’s (open at 7am). 999 N. 2nd St., 314.881.7777.

Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar
The tap list has 57 beers and counting, ranging from local micro-micros like Six Row to darn-near-unpronounceable brewers in Belgium. At any moment, a tweet (@BridgeSTL) could come through, upping the number to 58 or swapping out an underperforming label. If those 57 don’t include your personal favorite, let owner Dave Bailey know, and he’ll see what he can do. The kitchen is open until 1am, Monday through Saturday, and midnight on Sundays, to serve house-made bar nuts, pickles, flavored popcorn and “real food” like salads, sandwiches and cheese plates. 1004 Locust St., 314.241.8141.

SPORTS SCENE

The Over/Under Bar & Grill
Buckets of Bud? Check. Flat-screens in every sightline? Check. Walking distance to the Downtown stadiums (and a shuttle to the rest)? Check. Open late in case the game goes to shootouts or extra innings? Check. Delicious bar food? Sorry, you’ll have to check that one off on your own; we’re too busy digging into the massive tower of onion rings. [911 Washington Ave., 314.621.8881.]

Joe Buck’s
The Buck family’s Downtown outpost is just a baseball’s throw from Busch Stadium, making it a popular post-game destination. Let national sportscaster Joe Buck (or fondly remembered Cardinals play caller Jack Buck) inspire you to

Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar

rattle off a few baseball stats of your own while enjoying some of the famous barbeque—or other items from the newly revamped menu—at this upscale sports bar. [1000 Clark St., 314.436.0394.]

The Outfield
Before and after every Cardinals home game, this place is crawling with fans. It’s a great setup for rubbing elbows with other hardcore Redbird fans—after all, broadcaster Mike Shannon still does postgame shows here, and players often come by the restaurant for a drink or steak after the game. [620 Market St., 314.421.1540.]
LATE NIGHT EATS

El Borracho
Only a gringo would try to party all night on an empty stomach when there are tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tamales fit for a family-style feast until 1am on weekends.2001 Locust St., 314.588.0055.

Molly’s
Trust us, those tasty barbecued shrimp and fried green tomatoes go with any craft cocktails the lounge can stir up (until 1am on weekends). They taste even better when enjoyed in one of the cabanas on the two-level brick patio. 816 Geyer Ave., 314.241.6200.

Lucas Park Grille
The kitchen in this 8,000-square-foot club-slash-restaurant serves contemporary dishes (duck confit, pork belly, mini burgers) as late as hungry customers can keep the chefs busy. 1234 Washington Ave., 314.241.7770.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar
If your sweet tooth keeps you awake at night, the chocolate desserts and martinis will guarantee sweet dreams; available until 1am, Monday through Saturday, and midnight on Sundays. 1915 Park Ave., 314.241.8100.

Square One Brewery

The late-night menu hits all our favorite beer accompaniments: pub chips, pretzels, burgers, wings, nachos and barbecue. It’s offered from 11pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 1727 Park Ave., 314.231.2537.

Street Food
Food trucks and stands are a brilliant solution for feeding hungry people late-night: Cook where the customers are. Ten years ago, Eugene Burrell saw hungry partiers on Washington Avenue, and he set up a late-night hot dog stand near what was then Club Isis (now The Formula). He sells a couple hundred hot dogs a night, plus chicken kabobs and burgers. “People come out of the clubs hungry,” said his nephew, Bennie Craig, who has helped man the stand for eight years. “It helps with the hangovers.”

Don’t forget to check out the neighborhood nightlife guides for Central, South City and West!

 

1509_568.jpgLucas Park Grille fireplace lounge

1510_568.jpgLucas Park offers over 300 wine choices by bottle

1511_568.jpgLucas Park social sitting area

1512_568.jpgLucas Park offers over 300 wine choices by bottle

1513_568.jpgBridge Tap House & Wine Bar

1514_568.jpgPrime 1000

 

Photo credit: Photos by Carrie Iggulden

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