10 St. Louis Bars With Unique Character

 In Food, Guide

Full glasses, great music, a bartender who knows your name … whether you’re a dive bar regular or prefer a swankier spot, the ambiance of a locale sets the tone for a perfect night out. Read on for our list of St. Louis bars with a personality all their own.

tick tock tavern st louis bar alive magazine

Image courtesy of the Tick Tock Tavern.

Tick Tock Tavern
Tower Grove East
The walls of this owl- and clock-themed bar are covered with 1970s-kitsch décor. This is especially fitting, as it turns out, because the bar’s rehab in 2014 was basically an unearthing of a time capsule that was sealed in 1994, when the former proprietor served her last drinks. A smaller space with a cozy atmosphere, the Tick Tock has a wealth of local beers on tap.

The Silver Ballroom
Bevo Mill
With cocktails like the “Rumones Runner” and “Iggy’s Pop,” this South City bar has punk rock spirit to match the wide selection of records in the vintage jukebox. Bring your quarters to this bar—The Silver Ballroom also boasts an array of classic and brand-new pinball machines.

The Moonrise Hotel’s Rooftop Terrace Bar
The Delmar Loop
You’ve likely noticed the giant spinning moon that tops the Moonrise Hotel in The  Delmar Loop. It’s the crowning feature of the kitschy-yet-sophisticated Moonrise Rooftop Terrace Bar, which is entirely moon-themed. Sit in a quarter-moon shaped chair, check out the many display cabinets full of Space Race memorabilia and enjoy a stellar cocktail while looking out at an incredible view of the city.

narwhal's urban ice st louis alive magazine

Image courtesy of Narwhal’s Crafted Urban Ice.

Narwhal’s Crafted Urban Ice
Midtown and St. Charles
A nautical-themed bar that’s a great spot for happy hour, Narwhal’s two locations offer blended, frozen cocktails in flavors like “Blood Orange Whiskey Sour” and “Chocolate Mudslide,” as well as giant fishbowl cocktails meant for sharing.

Venice Café
Benton Park
Venice Café can best be described as a haunted-house-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland, with mosaics, memorabilia and otherworldly statues everywhere you turn. With three stories of indoor seating, an outdoor patio and a bar specializing in local brews, this Benton Park bar and music lounge has something for everyone.

blueberry hill the loop st louis alive magazine

Image courtesy of Blueberry Hill.

Blueberry Hill
The Delmar Loop
This iconic St. Louis bar is a shrine to music history and pop culture. Come for live music at The Duck Room, where Chuck Berry played more than 200 shows, and stick around for the menu of classic cuisine, 18 beers on draught and a seemingly endless collection of memorabilia, which includes everything from Pez dispensers to a stuffed lion.

Pop’s Blue Moon
The Hill
This smaller neighborhood bar offers a warm environment and—in a surprising move for a bar—alcohol-free Saturdays. Each Saturday, the proprietors make Pop’s Blue Moon a place where drinkers and non-drinkers can commune, taking down all alcohol decor and serving up WellBeing non-alcoholic beer, Topo Chico and other booze-free beverages while live music keeps the energy up.

Image courtesy of Recess.

The Grove
A great spot for larger gatherings, Recess offers playtime for grown ups. On Fridays and Saturdays, the $10 entry fee gains you access to a variety of games like corn hole, giant Jenga and air bowling (aka throwing a football at bowling pins). Recess also serves beer and cocktails and hosts a regular food truck line-up. On Sundays and weekdays, the entry fee is just $5.

Fortune Teller Bar
Cherokee Street
As the name promises, the Fortune Teller Bar is an old-time apothecary-themed bar that hosts tarot and palm readers who can gaze into your future, or at least predict you’ll have a fun night enjoying great drinks with friends.

Fox and Hounds Tavern
Attached to the Cheshire Inn, The Fox and Hounds Tavern is a cozy pub that looks like Tudor-era hunting lodge. Book-lovers will appreciate drinks like “Mutiny Aboard” named after “Treasure Island” or the Scarlet Cosmo named after “The Scarlet Letter.”

This is an updated version of the post originally published on Oct. 12, 2017.


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