Thursday, August 11, 2016

10 Downtown Bars That Aren't on Wash Ave.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 6:55 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL SABLEMAN

These days, Washington Avenue more or less provides the focal point for St. Louis' downtown nightlife — and on game nights, Ballpark Village provides a similar focus. But barflies looking for something a bit different need to walk a few blocks in any direction. Just a bit off the main party circuit, you'll find bars where you can play arcade games, bars where you can sample an extensive selection of wine, beer and cheese, low-key pubs, blues bars, and even a real-life speakeasy.

Here is our list of ten quirky, cool and downright interesting downtown bars outside Washington Avenue and Ballpark Village. Why not check one out this weekend?

    
click to enlarge The Thaxton Speakeasy: Start the car, I know a whoopee spot/Where the gin is cold but the piano's hot. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THAXTON SPEAKEASY
  • Photo courtesy of Thaxton Speakeasy
  • The Thaxton Speakeasy: Start the car, I know a whoopee spot/Where the gin is cold but the piano's hot.

1. The Thaxton Speakeasy
The Thaxton Speakeasy(1009 Olive Street, no phone)is basically a time machine disguised as a bar. On some nights, the clientele will even go so far as to dress right out of the Prohibition era. The place requires a password to get in (see the website for more details), but it's worth it: It's truly stunning inside. The mood is usually fun and the dance floor is often packed. (The music is not period-specific, thank God, so you won't need to brush off your Charleston.) The best part, however, might be the doorman who talks around letting you in for a few minutes. He’s a real joker. This speakeasy is only open Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. till 1:30 a.m., so get there on the dot, password in hand.

click to enlarge The Crack Fox: Conformists need not apply. - KAVAHN MANSOURI
  • Kavahn Mansouri
  • The Crack Fox: Conformists need not apply.
2. The Crack Fox
A downtown bar that encourages all to let their freak flag fly? The Crack Fox(1114 Olive Street, 314-621-6900) offers a rare respite downtown for those who didn't belong to a fraternity and have no interest in working for the man. It's a narrow, dark bar filled with live music, karaoke and even burlesque shows if you head down on the right night. Drinks are plentiful and relatively cheap. The decor of the bar is something else: the actual bar is brimming with eye catchers and interesting trinkets, while the opposite wall is lined with boudoir photos of women. The Crack Fox is definitely high on the list of downtown bars that will leave you with a great story to tell come Monday.

Broadway Oyster Bar: An intimate environment for tunes, brews and food. - RFT FILE PHOTO
  • RFT File Photo
  • Broadway Oyster Bar: An intimate environment for tunes, brews and food.
3. Broadway Oyster Bar
Perched close to Busch Stadium in St. Louis' blues triangle, Broadway Oyster Bar (736 S. Broadway, 314-621-8811) has one of the most pleasant patios to sit and listen to music downtown. On weekends, there's almost always a band playing, and in the earlier hours it makes for an intimate environment to catch some tunes, brews and food. This inside bar has a good amount of seating, and on nice days and evenings the staff will open up the shutters facing the street. It's a perfect spot to pregame, or post-game after a Cardinals victory. 

click to enlarge Beale on Broadway keeps the blues playing seven nights a week. - KAVAHN MANSOURI
  • Kavahn Mansouri
  • Beale on Broadway keeps the blues playing seven nights a week.

4. Beale on Broadway
Beale on Broadway (701 S. Broadway, 314-621-7880) is one of the best places in St. Louis to catch the blues, with authentic sets seven days a week. The bar, which sits not far from Busch Stadium on the southern edge of downtown, touts some serious talent and offers incredibly tasty food and beverages for all clientele, whether they're drowning their sorrows or just taking in the act. Beale has a rather large patio with plenty of seating. It also has both inside and outside stages, keeping the show going no matter what the weather's like.  

The Wheelhouse has become one of the hottest spots in all of downtown. - NANCY STILES
  • Nancy Stiles
  • The Wheelhouse has become one of the hottest spots in all of downtown.

5. Wheelhouse
If you find yourself downtown and in the mood to party hard, but all the early bars are closing, head over to the Wheelhouse (1000 Spruce Street, 314-833-3653). A hotspot for local celebrities and people just generally looking to rage, the Wheelhouse is a sports bar by weekday and a nightlife hub on the weekends. During the day it's worth stopping by to check out the robust menu, although we should warn that the place is frequently packed after sporting events downtown. Plan on some shoulder-to-shoulder bumping as you try get a drink — but isn't that a small price to pay to keep it going 'til 3 a.m.?

Turn the page for more great downtown bars

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2017 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation