Best Rock & Roll Club St. Louis 2002 - Lemmons Basement Bar - CLOSED
5800 Gravois Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63116
Readers' Choice: Pageant
A satellite of the popular Black Thorn pizza parlor, Lemmons Basement Bar is often eerily reminiscent of the late, great Cicero's Basement Bar, back when it was on the other side of the street and not so redolent of patchouli. Like its legendary predecessor, Lemmons is thick with smoke and lank-haired hipster-dudes, and all those over six feet tall will almost certainly knock their heads if they don't immediately duck upon approaching the tiny but well-stocked bar. With its funny little colored lights, its thrift-store art and its cheesy wood paneling, the cozy bar looks and feels like an early-'70s rec room, evoking pleasant flashbacks of the first time you got drunk and played Spin the Bottle. Overall, it's a feat of rock & roll collectivism: Highway Matron and noted dandy Mark Stephens designed the interior and helped set up the sound system; Sunyatta Marshall (Stephens' wife and bandmate in Fred's Variety Group) does all the booking, bringing in a nice mix of local and national acts; and local rockers and part-time employees Jason Hutto (the Phonocaptors), Marcia Pandolfi (the Fantasy Four) and Bruk Longbottom (Ouija) can often be found shuttling between the bar and the soundboard and sometimes even the stage. Best of all, the sound is actually decent -- a rare and welcome phenomenon in this town.