Best Neighborhood Bar (South County) St. Louis 2008 - O'Leary's
In south St. Louis County, O'Leary's fire doesn't refer to Chicago's bovine-ignited inferno of legend, but rather to the one that started unceremoniously in a trash can at O'Leary's, the bar, and eventually consumed the place in September 2006. It reopened six months later, just in time for St. Patrick's Day, and now a partially melted flat-screen television mounted over the entrance serves as a souvenir of sorts, perhaps a subliminal reminder of the importance of fire safety. Along with its affable owner, Kevin O'Leary, the bar's part-owned by his childhood buddy (and Affton favorite son) John Goodman. Though the actor now calls New Orleans home, he'll pop in for karaoke nights from time to time, and some of his Affton High School memorabilia still adorns the walls. O'Leary's menu alerts customers to his favorites (the steak sandwich is one), and it's further enhanced by early-bird bargains, happy hours and innovative mixed drinks. Be sure to note the day's specials: Last time we visited, every burger came with a free car wash.