Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Jaime Lees profiles Laura Therina of Baileys' Chocolate Bar. Below is a Q&A with Therina, followed by the recipe for the Mexican Chocolate Martini.
With the most romantic day of the year coming up soon, we decided to check in at Baileys' Chocolate Bar (1915 Park Avenue; 314-241-8100). With its dark, hushed atmosphere and surprisingly strong martinis, the bar is one of St. Louis' premier Valentine's Day venues. It's the perfect date destination for cozy little table for two. (Or a cozier table for three, if that's your preference. We don't judge.)
Located in historic Lafayette Square, Baileys' Chocolate Bar has long held down the same block that now hosts neighbors like Square One Brewery. The building includes a low-lit restaurant backed with a generous outdoor dining area, and the menu offers options for every type of gluttony: savory snacks, rich cheese plates and delicious deserts.
The front door opens to a warm, wood-wrapped bar, and that's where we found bartender Laura Therina. Therina has been employed at the bar for more than two and half years, working her way from hostess to server to bartender. She knows all the details of the business and offers up interesting information about the building, including the details of a rumor among the staff that the location is haunted.
She's engaging and sweet, fist-bumping with a regular and gossiping with a man about his pretty date while the lady was off in the powder room. We spoke with Therina as she was behind the bar mixing up cocktails and Radiohead's "Knives Out" played quietly in the background.
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