Let's face it: You still haven't finished your Christmas shopping, and time is running out. Soon, you'll be forced to find a remote parking space, fight the massive crowds -- all bumping and jostling and cutting into lines -- and empty your already hurting bank account. But hey, there's no need to go all Grinch. The key: drunk shopping.
Buoy your Christmas spirit by stopping off at one of the many fine drinking establishments that surround the epicenters of shopping and throw back a few. You'll have a glow to rival Kris Kringle's, and shopping will never have seemed more fun.
Vino Nadoz (16 The Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-726-0400)
Walk directly across the street from the Galleria and straight into Vino Nadoz. There's a great selection of local craft beers on tap. Bask in a peaceful setting before entering the nine circles of Hell that is the Galleria.
OB Clark's (1921 S. Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood; 314-961-8900)
OB Clark's is a blue-collar bar where you can sit around and complain about the bossman and revel in the glories of the St. Louis Blues, which means it's also a great spot to bitch about shopping because you're likely to find sympathetic drinking buddies. There's a large menu of pub grub and appetizers, including chicken wings, potato skins and fried green beans. The long list of big sandwiches features steak burgers, a Reuben, pork cutlet, grilled cheese and salami on rye. There are always several beers on tap, from good old Budweiser to O'Fallon 5-Day IPA, and a full complement of hard liquor just in case.
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