Grove Bar and Venue The Monocle Has Closed Permanently

Oct 21, 2020 at 2:02 pm

The Monocle (4510 Manchester Avenue, 314-932-7003), a Grove destination for cocktails and nightlife since 2015, has closed its doors for good.

The news comes via an announcement on the venue's Twitter and Instagram pages.

“The show is over say goodbye!” reads the post, quoting Madonna. "We will always remember the love, the laughs, and the amazing moments we shared with you all. Effective immediately we are closed."

Accompanying the message is an image with a note of its own, making very clear that the closure is not a temporary one.

"Last curtain call. To our patrons, friends, performers and family, thank you for all your love and support during these difficult times. We are now and forever closed," it reads.

The Monocle had built up a reputation over its five years in business as a performing arts venue whose Emerald Room regularly played host to drag shows, live music, karaoke and burlesque, as well as open mic nights and DJs. The popular Fresh Produce Beat Battle was headquartered at the Emerald Room for some time, and its charming, small performance space would often overflow during well-attended events.

The Monocle's closure means three celebrated St. Louis drag venues have shut down in the past three months. Late September saw the permanent closure of the St. Louis location of Hamburger Mary's, and in August St. Louis' oldest gay bar, Attitudes, closed after some 32 years in business.

The end of the Monocle is also another hit to the Grove, where a series of shake-ups (some pandemic related, some not) continue to rock the bar district.

In June, arcade bar Parlor and vinyl listening lounge Takashima Records both closed amid a storm of sexual assault allegations. Co-owner Sean Baltzell has said he plans to reopen the bars, but no timeline has been set as to when that might happen, and Baltzell has reportedly filed a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against his business partners over the allegations.

And before that, in May, the Grove's midsize-capacity concert venue the Ready Room closed its doors and the building was put up for lease as the venue's owners seek out a new location. No announcement has yet been made as to when or where that may materialize.

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