An Early Look at The Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, Dave Bailey's New Venture

Dave Bailey opened The Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar last Wednesday at 1004 Locust Street. This is Bailey's third venture, following Baileys' Chocolate Bar and Rooster.

Of course, it's much too early for a review -- but not too early to stop in for a beer and a look around.

The Bridge can be difficult to spot at night. It's located next-door to the downtown Left Bank Books at the corner of Locust and 10th Street.

The interior is quite striking. You enter into a narrow (though not cramped) space. The bar is to your right, with wine, beer and spirit bottles arranged on shelves before an exposed brick wall. There are a few freestanding tables on this level, but the bulk of the non-bar seating is on a mezzanine level that forms an L along the wall opposite the bar and the back wall.

The color scheme is a warm, attractive milk-chocolate color. (At least, it looked milk chocolately in the dim light.) The most distinctive décor elements are the light fixtures, at least one of which resembles a large bird's nest.

The menu (link PDF) is weighted toward snacks and plates to share. In the fuzzy cell-phone pic above are the pretzels, with one of four dipping sauces, a poblano queso. Other snacks include seasoned nuts (chipotle honey-roasted peanuts, chile-lime pistachios), seasoned popcorn (smoked paprika and sea salt, chocolate and coffee), and cheese and charcuterie plates.

Entrées are described as "pots": there is mac & cheese, coffee-braised beef with sweet-potato orzo and pork bolognese over campanelle pasta, among others. Sandwiches, salads and desserts are also available.

The beer list is impressive (click on the menu link and scroll to the fifth page), with roughly three dozen beers on tap and many, many more available by the bottle, almost all of them craft beers. A nice touch: You can order the draft beers as 4-, 12- or 20-ounce pours.

A quick glance at the wine list (click on the menu link and scroll to the eleventh page) shows most of the major varietals and regions represented, with most bottles between $20-$50.

The Bridge is open Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, call 314-241-8141 or visit the website.
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