Your Guide to Skanksgiving

The mirrored ceiling at Mike Talayna’s Juke Box lets you see twice as many bad decisions happening.
The mirrored ceiling at Mike Talayna’s Juke Box lets you see twice as many bad decisions happening. RYAN GINES

Oh, St. Louis, we are closing in fast on the most magical night of the year.

It's the night when you can confirm in-person your suspicions that your high school rivals have been Photoshopping their Instagram selfies. The night when all those friends who've moved to the coasts return to tell of their glamorous lives (and a year or two before they get married and move back). The night when you set out in search of that teenage crush — and about a half-dozen Fireball shots.

Skanksgiving is once again upon us.

Just in case you've forgotten your way, or those Fireball shots come early, we have a few suggestions for the night-before-Thanksgiving debauchery.

Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-4444) is the epicenter for all this foolishness, and it's not hard to see why. It's big and loud, with plenty of weirdness spilling out from the edges. Make your own metaphor here, but in practical terms, you'll be able to see whoever you want, but it will be too chaotic for a long conversation. That gives you just enough information to decide the rest of your night: Make the hasty retreat or shout over the noise to say you'll be heading to Pin-Up Bowl (6191 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-5555) for the Skanksgiving nightcap.

John D. McGurk's (1200 Russell Boulevard, 314-776-8309) is another fine place to spend an evening of nostalgic rambling. It gives the appearance of being slightly more grown up than whatever dollar-pitchers mess of a college bar where you all last hung out, but is also very much a place to make terrible decisions under low lighting.

If you like the idea of beginning the holidays on a full-scale bender but don't necessarily want to see everyone from high school, Friendly's Sports Bar & Grill (3503 Roger Place, 314-771-2040) is a good bet. For next to nothing, you can sample the finest buckets of domestic beer and an array of fried foods while testing your skill in pool, video games, bags and about a half-dozen other pursuits. We can't guarantee no one from your high school has figured this out, but there's basically four sections of this place, giving you plenty of hideouts.

But if you're looking for that spot that everyone likes and — crucial for the county set — can easily find, the Royale (3132 S. Kingshighway Boulevard, 314-772-3600) is your bar. Impress with the maturity of your favorite cocktail as you crowd in front of the long, long bar or cozy up in a booth. As a bonus, you're across from Courtesy Diner in case it turns into one of those nights. Let's be honest, it's going to be one of those nights.

And because Skanksgiving is definitely the night to prove you still party, you'll need a 3 a.m. bar destination. If you don't make it to the aforementioned Pin-Up Bowl, wrap up your night at Atomic Cowboy (4140 Manchester Avenue, 314-775-0775) among the wild hearts of the Grove. Sing the soundtrack of your last high school dance at Mike Talayna's Juke Box (1115 Hampton Avenue, 314-647-7600). Or hit River City Casino (777 River City Casino Boulevard, 314-388-7777), if that's your thing.

If you haven't made your Skanksgiving connection by then, it's not going to happen. But don't worry, there's always next year.

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