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  • 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
  • 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
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