Sip the Summer Away: Ten great outdoor-drinking destinations

Sip the Summer Away: Ten great outdoor-drinking destinations
Dan Zettwoch

Yeah, summer in St. Louis is sticky and hot. But here's the deal: Were it not for the nearly triple-digit heat and humidity, would you ever fully appreciate St. Louis' great number of outdoor drinking spots?

There's something about drinking an ice-cold cocktail alfresco in defiance of the summer heat that makes your drink all the more satisfying. So get out there this summer, and enjoy one (or two) in the great outdoors. And if you don't have a favorite bar or restaurant patio already, check out the ten listed here.

33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar

When it comes to enjoying a relaxed, unfussy evening spent sipping wine, 33 (1913 Park Avenue; 314-231-9463 or is as low maintenance as it gets. And that's low maintenance in a good way: It's so low-key, there isn't even a sign announcing its presence in Lafayette Square. Once you do find the front door, the backyard patio is a shotgun stretch past the high-top tables and unassuming bar until it opens up into several different sections ideal for private dates or large groups. Separated by a short railing from the noisier crowd next door at Baileys' Chocolate Bar, the wood-beam-flanked outdoor space creates a chill atmosphere that's perfect for enjoying a glass or bottle from the large yet well-curated drink list. The staff is helpful but not overbearing, allowing you to truly take in a peaceful night out in the city.


What kind of outdoor-drinking list would this be if there weren't at least one rooftop view included? Especially if there were a rooftop view not only of our city, but also of our beloved world champion St. Louis Cardinals. The new 360 atop the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark (1 South Broadway; 314-241-8439 or downtown claims the best seat in the city for bird-watching, be it fancy feathers or Cardinal red. Catch the action inside Busch Stadium on game days right over the low glass railing or watch it on the TVs mounted behind the huge, brightly lit bar. Baseball fans mingle with urban butterflies, drinking top-shelf cocktails, grinding to weekend DJs and snacking on small plates from the open kitchen. Yellow and green uplighting as well as fire pits add to the glow of evenings on top of the city, while the daytime opens up to a sunny bird's-eye view of the streets below.

Beale on Broadway

It is hard to find an establishment in St. Louis not showcasing the city's signature tunes on any given night, but to find one showcasing the blues on a true outdoor stage? Look no further than downtown's corner of South Broadway and Cerre Street, Beale on Broadway (701 South Broadway; 314-621-7880 or, where music and booze have been forever blended. Hard to miss, the permanent outdoor structure elevates the performers and their sounds over a large patio and cabana bar with beer-bottle lights. Open, roomy and well-lit by the moon (the complete opposite of the indoor space), this theater is the perfect place on a breezy evening with a date or to stumble into after a Cardinals game. An expansive view of the city illuminated by the night sky behind the stage influences even the lightest drinker to grab one more while taking in the blues this town loves so much.

Sasha's Wine Bar

Nestled among the residences in the Shaw neighborhood, Sasha's on Shaw (4069 Shaw Boulevard; 314-771-7274 or is a charming garden escape. Whether enjoying a drink with your laptop or a group of friends, the patio here transports you from the everyday. Greenery of all kinds, mismatched seating and missing light bulbs from the strings that hang above add a playful touch to the outdoor space. Ornate concrete blocks are strewn along the garden-size waterfall; its water gurgles just loud enough to cover most traffic noises, and a brightly painted lamp post creates a sense of whimsy, like sitting among the ruins of Narnia or Wonderland. Similar to its counterpart in Clayton (Sasha's Wine Bar & Market), the drink selection on Shaw does not disappoint — take advantage of the several pages of by-the-glass pours. Even more options are available by the bottle, and don't miss the small but tasty menu. "Shawshas," as it is lovingly known by the regulars, offers a beautiful space to unwind and daydream away the workweek's stresses.

Molly's in Soulard

In what the natives like to call "The Island of Misfits" — Soulard to all others — sits an oasis known as Molly's in Soulard (816 Geyer Avenue; 314-241-6200 or Climb out onto the deck and sail away on the wood planks, buy a cocktail at the shuttered, weather-worn bar and relax into one of the private cabanas with some of your favorite people — including four-legged friends. Like most establishments in the Soulard area, Molly's is pet friendly, so stopping in with Fido is no problem; water for your pup is provided. Whether bellying up to the bar or sinking into a plush chair out back, drinks will flow easily and quickly. Add in a Cajun selection from the menu, and this retreat will unexpectedly transport the weekend warriors to a vacation-like getaway.

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