Preview: 360 Bar at the Hilton Opens Monday, July 25

10 points if you can hock a loogie and hit the Arch.
10 points if you can hock a loogie and hit the Arch.

Gut Check was feeling a little poor yesterday. $5 parking seemed an unnecessary expense, so we parked on the street, surrendering our last quarters to the meter. As we sweated our way down the sidewalk and into the air-conditioned plush of Hilton at the Ballpark, we felt a little less than fabulous, greeted as we were by black-clad bouncers industriously manning three elevators.

They radioed up to the 26th floor and ushered us to the elevator that would carry us to our destination: the brand new, super luxe bar Three Sixty (1 South Broadway; 314-241-8439), so named for its, erm, panoramic view of the St. Louis skyline.

Cue our renewed sense of financial inadequacy. The place is glam. The soft-opening party drew a few local luminaries: We spotted Alderwoman Phyllis Young and our benevolent landlord, Joe Edwards, among the throng of well-heeled guests.

We did a few rounds of the place, checking out the pretty spectacular views and jealously eyeing the gorgeous pizzas (artisanal cheeses and local meats and produce) coming out of the firedeck.

These ain't cheap bar eats, either: $12-$14 for a pie, $11 for roasted mussels, $14 for sliders (you mix and match from options like smoked pork belly, crab-cake meatball or short rib) and $7 for a housemade "Kit Kat" bar.

Gut Check had already blown our budget at the parking meters. But, man, did it all look and smell delicious.

The decor is comfortable outside, with glassed-in fire pits; bright green lamps dot the lounge areas. You can't go wrong with seating out here; whether you're in the large wooden booths lining the south wall, cozy in a VIP nook or perched at the light-up bar, the view is unparalleled.

Don't have Cards tickets? Grab your binoculars and head to Three Sixty.

View of Busch Stadium from Three Sixty.
View of Busch Stadium from Three Sixty.

Inside, it's just as swank: a two-story waterfall (are we calling these "water installations" yet?), silk-smooth wooden bar and a state-of-the-art kitchen that allows you to watch the magic happen. There are so many smiling servers, if you tripped in this place, you'd probably take two down with you.

Three Sixty doesn't officially open until Monday, July 25, so rest assured, we'll be back. Next time, though, we'll be bringing our wallets.

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