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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

St. Louis Is Esquire's Bar City of the Year

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 1:30 PM

A Hemingway daiquiri at Planter's House -- one of the bars that helped St. Louis earn Esquire's nod as Bar City of the Year. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • Photo by Mabel Suen
  • A Hemingway daiquiri at Planter's House -- one of the bars that helped St. Louis earn Esquire's nod as Bar City of the Year.

St. Louis bars are finally getting the recognition they deserve as the best in the U.S. That's courtesy of Esquire: The magazine has named the Gateway City the nation's "Bar City of the Year," with an extensive writeup that honors such neighborhood classics as Dressel's Public House, The Royale, Sanctuaria and Planter's House.

Also getting a shot out: Rigazzi's and Milo's Bocce Garden, both on The Hill; Llywelyn's in the Central West End; O'Connell's; Silver Leaf Lounge and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

Writer David Wondrich, who leads the curation of Esquire's annual list of the Best Bars in America, has the byline. He starts his story at the Harlem Tap Room, writing,

Sitting at the bar at Harlem Tap Room in St. Louis's Ville neighborhood, home at one time or another to Chuck Berry, Arthur Ashe, Tina Turner, and Sonny Liston, you want to be a regular: the slightly unhinged rec-room decor, the stiff drinks, the loud mellow hip-hop and seventies soul, the friends calling to friends across the bar, the clutch of older guys in quiet conversation in the corner--it's a low-boil party. Even though, as two middle-aged bearded white guys who resemble nobody so much as the Smith Bros. of cough-drop fame, my old friend Doug Frost and I were clearly a novelty there, the bartender was friendly, if openly puzzled at our presence, and one of the patrons was curious enough to come over, introduce herself, and start what proved to be a very pleasant conversation. We were tempted to stay for a few more, but we were on a mission and Harlem Tap was only one of a dozen bars on our list.

You can read the whole thing online here; the issue hits newsstands on June 2.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at [email protected]

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