Revisited: An Updated Guide to the Central West End
Anchored by historic bookshop Left Bank Books, the Central West End is a walkable, bustling neighborhood overflowing with top-notch options for eats, drinks and shopping. On a sunny weekend morning, the CWE is the perfect place to stroll and pop into galleries after brunch at Café Osage or Kingside Diner. Once the sun goes down, the neighborhood lights up and lively restaurant patios fill the streets with lilting music and laughter.
In our 2017 issue of Guided magazine covering the Central West End, we shined a spotlight on modern home furnishings retailer Centro Modern Furnishings and innovative contemporary art gallery projects+gallery. For dining and drinks, we recommended Brennan’s, a one-stop spot for a full night out and Retreat Gastropub’s rustic yet elevated American menu. For go-to shopping, we favored men’s clothing retailer East + West, now under new ownership with a refreshed storefront and exciting events on the horizon.
Since then, we’ve covered Bowood Farms’ two newest ventures: sweet gift and home goods store Holliday and craft and garden workshop space The Studio. We fawned over jewels at The Silver Lady’s boutique, clinked glasses at the quirky and antique-inspired Pagan Wine Bar and celebrated St. Louis Art Supply’s name change and relocation to a larger Olive Street location.
That’s just the start of what awaits you in the Central West End. Read on for our roundup of eight more must-visit bars, restaurants and shops in the CWE.
Image courtesy of Yellowbelly.
On Point Hospitality’s Travis Howard and Tim Wiggins (who also own Retreat Gastropub) offer patrons “tropical vibes” at Yellowbelly, a palm-bedecked oasis in the heart of the CWE. Seafood shines on this restaurant’s playful menu, but dishes like the big kahuna burger and carnitas tacos with pineapple put a tropical spin on meaty favorites. For the full vacation feel, we recommend you order a passion fruit daiquiri or mai tai to complement their mini lobster roll and seared salmon with Spam fried rice. And if you’re planning a special event, check out the next-door space, The Hideout.
Located within the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel, The Preston offers upscale dining in a chic but inviting atmosphere. Come for happy hour to enjoy exceptional craft cocktails and a cheeseboard before exploring the rest of the CWE, or stay for dinner and savor French-inspired mains such as their char siu duck leg or steak frites.
Image courstesy of TechArtista.
A large coworking space on the north end of the CWE’s restaurant district, TechArtista is a hub for collaboration between creative minds. With a goal of meeting members’ professional and social needs, they host regular supper club events, gallery events and yoga classes to help creatives unwind and connect. Their design prioritizes both beauty and function, offering members an array of indoor and outdoor workstations, as well as meeting and event rooms in spaces filled with bright natural light and contemporary artwork.
A casual eatery with brightly colorful decor, Cocina Latina serves specialties from across Latin America. Sit at the bar and sip on pisco sours and mojitos, or bring a date and sample baked Peruvian or fried Columbian-style empanadas, meat or veggie fajitas and their Cuban sandwich with pernil (slow-roasted pork). Most dishes are served with ample sides of rice, beans and sweet plantains.
Image courtesy of Provisions.
Luxe but laid-back home goods purveyor Provisions is the brainchild of Ross and Debra Hunter, who relocated and relaunched in St. Louis after losing their original shop to wildfires in California. A perfect addition to the CWE, Provisions offers unique and handmade housewares plus skincare and apothecary products. When you’re looking for that perfect gift, browse their ceramics, candles, bar supplies and creative coffee table books, and go ahead and pick up a self-care treat for yourself while you’re at it.
If you can’t find it at Fellenz Antiques, you probably won’t be able to find it anywhere. Part cabinet of curiosity, part museum of antique architecture, Fellenz is an interior design gold mine waiting to be explored. Not the place to go for curios or collectibles, Fellenz is instead filled to the brim with salvaged stained glass windows, solid wood doors, banisters and beautifully patinaed drawer pulls and door knobs. Even if you’re not shopping for your home, Fellenz is a great spot to browse and appreciate artifacts from a bygone era.
Image courtesy of Up-Down STL.
Gamers, rejoice! Up-Down arcade and bar features more than sixty arcade games from the 1980s and 1990s, plus pinball machines, classic Skee-Ball alleys, Nintendo 64 console gaming, life-size Jenga and Connect Four. The perfect spot for a high-energy night out, all games cost just 25 cents, and Up-Down offers a different deal on game tokens, beer and house-made pizza every day of the week. Although there are locations across the Midwest, this bar has an extensive lineup of local craft beers in addition to nationally known brews.
1764 Public House
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining seven days a week, 1764 Public House marries St. Louis and New Orleans culinary traditions. On the menu you’ll find classic and jalapeño popper toasted ravioli rubbing shoulders with po’ boys and gumbo. A lively pub with creative cocktails and local beers on tap, 1764 Public House is a great spot to watch a Cardinals or Blues game or unwind after work. To satisfy your sweet tooth, celebrate both St. Louis and New Orleans by ordering beignets and gooey butter cake for dessert.
Featured image courtesy of the Central West End Business Community Improvement District.