20 New (or Different) Bars to Get You Out of Your Drinking Rut

The Monocle always has something interesting going on.
The Monocle always has something interesting going on. PHOTO BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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Mak's Pub and Grub is a classic south-city spot on Gravois. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
Mak's Pub and Grub is a classic south-city spot on Gravois.

If you’re devastated to say goodbye to Iron Barley ...

But you still want to hang out in deep south city, you ought to check out Mak’s Pub & Grub (6109 Gravois Avenue, 314-354-8148). No, it doesn’t have Iron Barley’s ramshackle charm, but the light and bright dining room, separate bar area and sizable patio are all friendly spots to grab a drink, with a laid-back vibe that begins with twentysomething owner Michael Makhamreh and extends to every person on staff. And Mak’s can fill the void left by Iron Barley in another key way: A graduate of the Culinary Institute of St. Louis, Makhamreh is serving ambitious pub food that uses quality, house-made ingredients. Don’t miss the "Brinner," a breakfast-at-dinner (get it?) take on mac & cheese that includes pasta, hash browns, bacon, a fried egg and cornflakes.

Cocktails at the Block feature artisanal ingredients and house-infused spirits. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER SILVERBERG
PHOTO BY JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Cocktails at the Block feature artisanal ingredients and house-infused spirits.
If you're in Webster Groves and the cocktails at Olive + Oak strike your fancy ...

But you can't take the wait time, go up the street to the Block (146 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-918-7900). Although the Block's bar is roughly one-third the size of Olive + Oak's, the bartenders make up for it by delivering classic cocktails such as the "Whiskey Smash" (whiskey, lemon, simple syrup, mint). Sip your cocktail and munch on a Butcher's Plate of meats and cheeses in the late sun with outdoor seating along Lockwood sidewalk. Further east? Don't forget the Block's Central West End location and its killer happy hour menu.

If you like the live music on offer in the city’s Blues Triangle...

But you’d like to avoid the trek downtown, why not stop by the Hideaway (5900 Arsenal Street, 314-645-8822)? Under the bar's young owners, who acquired the south city institution after the death of founder Al Coco in 2015, the Hideaway is less a dive and more a classic old-school bar-bar that just happens to have a blind piano player crooning the standards at an electronic keyboard. It’s hokey, it’s fun and it couldn’t be more convenient — the neighborhood bar of your dreams.

Tin Roof offers three bars and a laidback party atmosphere. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
Tin Roof offers three bars and a laidback party atmosphere.
If you like the anything-goes good times at Howl at the Moon ...

But you want something new, we’ve got another downtown option for you, just a few blocks up Clark. Tin Roof St. Louis (1000 Clark Avenue, 314-240-5400) is the newest location of the Nashville-based chain, and true to that city’s style, it offers a menu of Southern-inflected favorites, live music and good times that last ‘til the wee hours of the morning. Yes, the music comes almost entirely from cover bands, but when it’s midnight and you’ve got a good buzz going, let’s face it: That’s exactly what gets you out on the dance floor.

If you're in west county and you like the dive-bar feel of the Hive in Creve Coeur ...

Try the newly renovated Village Bar (12247 Manchester Road, Des Peres; 314-821-4532). The Hive is cozy and local, but not spacious enough for big groups. The Village Bar can help. Now that the new owners have doubled the square footage by taking over the former wig shop next door, the newly renovated bar has two big rooms filled with ledges and tables so you can take a load off while you enjoy yourself. Bonus: Both bars are recently under new management, improving both the food, service and appearance.

click to enlarge Remy's a great option for wine lovers. - RFT FILE PHOTO
RFT FILE PHOTO
Remy's a great option for wine lovers.
If you like the wine focus at Louie's Wine Dive ...

But you're looking to go even deeper into your study of the grape, Remy's Kitchen and Wine Bar (222 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5757) is worthy of a visit. Even though it's also located in downtown Clayton, Remy's feels like a hidden gem where suits and wine connoisseurs alike can enjoy an excellent list that pairs perfectly Mediterranean-inspired plates both small and large. The space is funky and eclectic yet warm and inviting, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends over a glass of rosé.

If you like soccer, but you're looking for something a bit more low-key than Amsterdam Tavern ...

Try Barrister's (7923 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-726-5007). Everyone knows that Amsterdam is a good time — maybe too good of a time sometimes. For a more mellow soccer experience, Barrister's offers a bar and high-top seating with more than ten high-definition TVs and a lengthy craft beer list. The menu is unusually wide-ranging for a sports bar, with options including a prosciutto pear salad or an Asian-inspired stir fry along with the usual pub grub. Game on!

Third Wheel Brewing is now open in St. Peters. - PHOTO BY EMILY MCCARTER
PHOTO BY EMILY MCCARTER
Third Wheel Brewing is now open in St. Peters.
If you like the creative side of 4 Hands Brewing Company ...

But you're in St. Charles County, you may dig the newly minted Third Wheel Brewing (4008 North Service Road, St. Peters; 636-323-9810). Third Wheel seeks to connect people with easy-drinking and approachable beers that are as unique as they are memorable, like its signature 8.8 percent ABV IPA, the aptly named Dyslexic API. Brewmaster Abbey Spencer is always on-hand to chat beer (or her second love, the Three Stooges), and while she's a deft connoisseur of hops, she also knows what the people want — a solid drinking establishment with a hopping menu and plenty of space at the bar to unwind. Board games are available to break the ice and the chicken wings are a must.

If you like the cocktails at Taste ...

But you're looking for a little elbow room to go along with your mixology, the speakeasy-inspired Sophie’s Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club (3224 Locust, 314-533-0367) is more than easy to speak of. Located in the vast warehouse-like second floor of the .ZACK building, a site previously occupied by Plush, Sophie’s has ample space for mingling, a classic noir charm and cocktails to match. Drinks might boast a half-dozen ingredients and elaborate monikers, but there’s no confusion once these elixirs hit your lips. These cocktails are damn strong, and the curious drinker will likely never be disappointed. Unsure about the classic paloma? Get back to us after trying the “Femme Fatal” — sipping one by the light of Sophie's chandelier will make you feel like the witty, untouchable sophisticate you always knew you could be.

If you like the arcade games at Start Bar ...

But you're drinking a bit further west, you may want to check out Two Plumbers Brewery + Arcade (2236 1st Capitol Drive, St. Charles; 636-224-8626). Before barcades, we were left topping off a case of Busch knee-deep in orc carcasses during games of D&D in our parents' basement. Now following Start Bar's fine example, Two Plumbers offers old-school arcade machines and a killer craft brewery to boot. Kick back with Time Crisis and some great local beer to reclaim your multiple lives.

With reporting by Sarah Fenske, Emily McCarter, Kevin Korinek, Doyle Murphy and Danny Wicentowski

Our 2017 Bar Guide hit the streets this week. Look for a copy in most spots where the RFT is carried.
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