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  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Bar (Downtown) - Dapper Dan's

    The hipper sect of downtown boosters would likely argue that the surest indicator that the urban core is back will be the ongoing success of Washington Avenue hot spots like Tangerine. Tangerine's great. But the day Dapper Dan's boasts a fanny on eve...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Open-Mic Night - Hootenanny

    It was winter of '98 when the tireless crew at Frederick's Music Lounge started enduring St. Louis' endless supply of live sonic gold every Thursday night, serving up the Stag to obliterate the inhibitions of the timid and providing a refuge for the ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Lesbian Bar - Novak's Bar & Grill

    Novak's Bar & Grill serves up cold beer, burgers and barmaids who double as dancers. Led by Becca, two nights a week the ladies shimmy, shake and hang from leather straps on the ceiling, and customers with a buck can steal a quick kiss. But it isn't ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Gay Bar - The Bastille

    Weary of oiling up his Rollerblades and flexing his pecs, Gaylord von Gayenstein, River City man's man about town, just needs a cold beer and a big ol' Reuben sandwich. But where to go amid a gay-bar landscape dominated by drum and bass? Easy: The Ba...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Gay Bar to Die in the Past Year - The Drake Bar

    The stereotypical gay bar is defined, accurately or otherwise, by pulsating techno rhythms, frosted follicles and buff, shaved pectorals -- which is exactly what made a place like the Drake Bar such a barrier-breaking breath of fresh air. A piano bar...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Bar (West) - Kremer's Tavern

    For no apparent reason, the guy drinking by himself decided he was going to buy a round for the dozen or so patrons in the place. We wondered: Why the generosity? "Why not?" the fellow responded. Of course, we attributed his good humor and our good f...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Underground Club - Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center

    Since 1998, the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center has served as a beacon and focal point to performance groups that might have a tough time booking shows in conventional venues. Proprietor Mark Sarich makes no bones about his mission in the St. Louis cul...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Jazz or Blues Club - BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups

    The nineteenth-century building that houses BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups had been a private home, boarding house, reception hall, millinery, transient hotel, bar, diner and house of ill repute before Mark O'Shaughnessy turned it into a blues and jazz clu...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Bar (South) - Venice Caf

    The Anheuser-Busch brewery is one minute away and worlds apart from the Venice Caf, surely the most colorful bar in St. Louis. Don't expect the A-B posters and neon beer signs that are ubiquitous at most of this town's corner bars. Decorated with bo...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Biker Bar - Woodstock Lounge

    She was sitting at the end of the bar, looking drunk, forlorn and blond (although the lights were so dim her hair hue was a matter of interpretation). It was an hour before closing, time enough for a few Bud longnecks and Rumplemintz shots before str...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Place to Drown Your Sorrows - Ardie and Tiny's

    Ardie and Tiny's, a brown-cabin bar on Collinsville Road, bears the double-edged distinction of being closest in proximity to the area horse track, Fairmount Park, thus guaranteeing a human circus inside the bar every race night. On weekends Ardie an...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Lounge - The Copa Cabana Lounge

    North St. Louis bars that don't scare the soup out of Caucasian folks are often described as "diamonds in the rough." Unintended or otherwise, this label is somewhat condescending. To the black folk who live in the north side's Fairground Park neighb...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Bar Food - Missouri Bar & Grill

    It is easy to walk into the Mo Bar, a dilapidated establishment that the downtown-revitalization craze has so far overlooked, and start making fun of its patrons, at least in your head. There are ne'er-do-wells and crotchety chain smokers and myriad ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Bar (East Side) - RJ's Place

    The beer's cheap. The jukebox is fantastic. The food's good. But we really love the house plants on top of the cigarette machine. Set in a residential neighborhood kitty-corner from the town's volunteer fire station, RJ's is the quintessential corner...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Place for Cocktails - Caf Eau

    In all but the most wintry months, cocktail hour comes at or just before sunset, when work and light have waned and the mind and palate seek new engagements. Tucked into the west end of the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, Caf Eau has the spirits, the space ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Bloody Mary - Saleem's

    A superb Bloody Mary isn't just a cocktail; it's a perfectly executed chemistry experiment that you can't replicate at home, no matter how many times it's explained. As with martinis, the maker is critical. The best Bloody you've had in your life mig...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Margarita - Maya Caf

    A great wall separates the two subspecies of margarita: powdered sweet-and-sour mix on one side and real juice-based mixers on the other. We, of course, prefer the latter (although, ironically, many very authentic Mexican-owned joints serve the forme...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Martini - The Ritz-Carlton Lobby Lounge

    Shaken, not stirred. Olives, no twist. 94-proof gin. Juniper berries, no exotic blends or weird botanicals. Absolutely no vodka. No Kool-Aid flavorings, either -- forget the cranberry, pineapple, apple liqueurs. We're traditionalists, if not purists....

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Place to Slow Dance - VFW Post 3944

    The Friday night hot spot in Overland, VFW Post 3944 is the kind of place where karaoke isn't for besotted ironists with a taste for the '80s -- it's a for-real entertainment option here. Try to pull off a drunk version of "Walking on Sunshine" here,...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Jukebox - Blueberry Hill

    First-time users of the famed jukebox at Blueberry Hill might get confused. Intimidated, even. The CD covers with the track and album numbers aren't inside the box, where you push the little arrow buttons to flip through until you find what you want....

    on September 24, 2003
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