Best Bar Bar - 2009
Babe's Tavern and Garden
Never judge a bar from its street view. From the outside, Babe's Tavern and Garden doesn't look much different from its south-city-tavern brethren. Step inside and it's a different world. Refinished hardwood, cushioned seats, a cozy fireplace in the back corner. At the bar the usual cheap beer suspects mingle with three Schlafly taps. Instead of marring the cushy drinking atmosphere with restroom access and games, that brouhaha resides in the basement, down a beautiful curved staircase. The garden's a drinking oasis worthy of Bacchus hisself. Covered from the sun and shielded from the street, this beer garden actually has plants growing in it, surrounding a verdigris fountain. Laze under the rows of ceiling fans at a polished wood table, separated from the other tables by black wrought-iron partitions. Behind the bar, the girl knows everyone's name and drink of choice. She fills the jukebox with classic rock and country. Talk centers on union meetings and the best way to not suffer electrical shock while welding. Unexpected for such sweet surroundings? Perhaps. But working stiffs deserve pretty places and cheap beer, too.