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Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Dark Room's New Patio Is a Place to Sit Outside in Grand Center

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 9:23 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE DARK ROOM
  • COURTESY OF THE DARK ROOM

There's a new place to hang out in Grand Center — and fresh air is definitely on the menu.

The Dark Room at the Grandel (3610 Grandel Square, 314-776-9550) quietly opened an expansive new patio last week, offering 35 additional seats under the sky. It's a rare outdoor dining option in a district that gets plenty of foot traffic, and promises views of Powell Hall, the new Angad Arts Hotel and downtown St. Louis. It's designed to look out over the new Arts Academy Plaza, which is meant to be a "public living room" for visitors.

For a place that draws hordes of well-dressed (and well-heeled) visitors seeking food or drink before a show, Grand Center has long been surprisingly bereft of great dining options.

But that's all starting to change. It's not just that acclaimed chef David Burke will be opening a restaurant in the Angad Arts Hotel, smack-dab in the heart of the theater district this fall. Locals are leading the way, with Turn by David Kirkland expanding to evening hours and Sophie's, which is upstairs at .ZACK, offering an elegant cocktail spot.

And then there's the Dark Room, which has transformed itself in the last fifteen months under chef Samantha Pretto from a small bar on North Grand Boulevard to a dining destination inside the old Grandel Theater, just one block off the main drag. It's become the place to eat before a show, especially if only want to park once for the evening.

Reflecting that popularity, the Dark Room also announced that it's expanding its hours. The Dark Room will now be open seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.

More opportunities to get a glass of wine and some food before or after a show — and enjoy them outside? Yes, please!

click to enlarge COURTESY OF THE DARK ROOM
  • COURTESY OF THE DARK ROOM

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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