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  • 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
  • Article

    Best Place to Play Pool - Saratoga Lanes

    The tables are flat and smooth, the KSHE that roars from the sound system totally ass-rockin', the balls solid, the cues straight enough, the tips firm enough, the beer cold and the tables usually available. What more do you need from a pool joint? C...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Beer Selection in a Bar - Cicero's

    Beer. It's not as simple as it used to be. At Cicero's, ordering a beer can be a paralyzing prospect, especially if you're at the bar, where the line of taps runs the full length and the nearby cooler is stocked with just about anything you might con...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Neighborhood Bar (North) - Mimi's Subway Bar and Grill

    Mimi's wasn't always Mimi's, but it has been an underground (literally) neighborhood drinking establishment in old Ferguson for nearly 50 years. And it shows. The old linoleum tile floor, the scuffed-up tables, the carved wood bar, the early Reagan-e...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months - Gateway to Dignity

    The members of Grand Ulena have garnered notoriety for their pedigree, their simultaneous refusal to play their hometown while declaring themselves "Ambassadors of St. Louis" and the St. Louis Police Department's recent "courtesy call" on their pract...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Rapper - Chingy

    Like there's any question here. This summer you couldn't hide from Chingy's dbut single, "Right Thurr," even if you wanted to. But why would you want to? What kind of person didn't fall for the song back in the spring, when it was bubbling on local ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Concert of the Past 12 Months - Flaming Lips at the Pageant

    On June 7, 2003, the Flaming Lips cured cancer. Really. Every person in the audience that night felt it happen; the bitterness and pain and regret and recriminations that gnaw at your insides and leave you with a bellyful of dead black sludge were bu...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band Name - Malade de Souci

    Malade de Souci may or may not exist: Few people have seen them play, fewer still know who they are and no one seems to know anyone who might actually be in the band, assuming the band exists. We're not saying they do: We are simply acknowledging tha...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band Paraphernalia - Conformists

    There isn't a lot of money to be made on the local rock scene if you're a musician -- Clear Channel sees to that; hence the merch table that appears at nearly every show. Local bands attempt to financially justify getting the night off from work to p...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band to Leave Town in the Past 12 Months - Hroom Hroom

    Those quick to assume that music fans in St. Louis can't handle anything too challenging will be at least slightly relieved to find out that Hroom Hroom weren't driven out of town on a musical rail; instead the duo relocated to Chicago for the higher...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months - The Reactions

    The curse of the RFT music awards strikes again! The teenage striped shirt-wearing trio the Reactions won in the Best Garage category and almost immediately thereafter went their separate ways, citing "creative differences." Unlike most breakups attr...

    on September 24, 2003
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