13 Things About Atomic Cowboy

For one, the food's so-so; for two, the ambiance rocks

Atomic Cowboy: "Margaritas, woo-hoo!" (Birthday party-planning e-mail thread.)

Atomic Cowboy: A bartender who, one might imagine, trumpets his stash of tequilas as if every day were Cinco de Mayo — all the more so considering some of them cost $20 to $40 a shot. But there's no printed drink menu yet (co-owner Peter Venezia promises one is imminent), which means little is offered in the way of house-special margaritas or other tequila cocktails. One waitress said margaritas were available in regular, premium or super-premium (top-shelf Cointreau vs. rail triple sec, Grand Marnier floated on top, etc.). If the three classifications sound like grades of gasoline, that's apt: The super-premium tastes like rocket fuel (a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it). In a big glass tureen atop the bar sits sangría, portioned out with a ladle. It's fruitless, literally and figuratively, sullied by a bitter aftertaste and lacking in floral aroma.

Atomic Cowboy: An oenophile. While the specialty drinks roster remains but a promise, the wine list has graced the menu from the get-go. It's a brief selection (curated by Venezia and tweaked monthly), but it encompasses all the with-it varietals today's urban cowboys are sipping: burly Borsao from Spain, fruity Mark West pinot, the Wishing Tree shiraz, Leaping Lizard chard. Would that the Gouguenheim from Argentina was a malbec — truly the Marlboro Man of reds — but it's a merlot.

Jennifer Silverberg
Atomic Cowboy owner Peter Venezia aims to please ó and his aim's often true.

Location Info


Atomic Cowboy

4140 Manchester Ave
St. Louis, MO 63110

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Forest Park Southeast


Guacamole $5
Sliders $7
Cheeseburger burrito $8

Atomic Cowboy 4140 Manchester Avenue; 314-775-0775. Hours: 5 p.m.-3 a.m. Wed.-Sat. (kitchen open till about 1 a.m.)

Atomic Cowboy: Nourisher of witching-hour drunks. Perhaps the best thing about Atomic Cowboy's fare is that it's served late — usually until midnight, sometimes until 1 a.m. — and that's not a backhanded compliment. Not nearly enough St. Louis saloons dish up after-hours chow, and providing the populace with a plateful of something belly-filling just when the evening's about to sag is not only a public service, it's a real treat. Sure, all food tastes better when you're tipsy and starving. But isn't the best kind of cowboy one who'll rustle up some grub when you need it most?

« Previous Page