Written in the Stars
A Cherokee favorite watering hole with a long lifeline returns.
The current incarnation of The Fortune Teller Bar at 2635 Cherokee Street was foretold back in the 1970s, when another establishment bearing the same moniker opened in the exact spot. As the story goes, the original proprietor was a prognosticator who was unable to ply her trade, thanks to an obscure law on the books that forbade telling fortunes for profit. So she decided on a slightly different business model and began to charge for beer and read palms for free. The bar eventually shuttered in the 1990s and other entities occupied the building over the ensuing years.
Finally, Sam Coffey moved in and began using the space as a wood shop. One day, he removed some old plywood from the facade and uncovered the original Fortune Teller sign, replete with a wizened hand holding a crystal ball. Like a premonition, he knew immediately that it was imperative to restore the place to its former glory. With the help of partners Kristin Dennis and Matt Thenhaus and the Cherokee community at large, Coffey’s premonition finally came to fruition.
Inspired by the story of the original watering hole, the new place pays homage to its roots with plenty of spiritualist accoutrement—there are actually fortune tellers and tarot readers on hand plying their trade Thursday through Saturday. The menu features a plethora of house-made pickles, as well as charcuterie and cheeses, alongside pizza and Companion pretzels. On the liquid side, there’s an expansive beer list with lots of boutique brews, a selection of craft cocktails and quality spirits and vinos. 2635 Cherokee St., 314.776.2337.
The Fortune Teller Bar
Beer on tap
Photo credit: Christopher Gibbons