Music Venues in St. Louis

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    Barbarella
    For some, this place will always be the Jade Room (the awning out front even says so). It's no longer a dim neighborhood dive, the Jade Room got an uber-mod facelift in late 2009 and was renamed Barbarella, after the iconic 1968 film. The décor of incites nostalgia and wonder -- lava lamps mingle with the orange and blue geometric curves that span the walls, with designs by local artists Joseph Raglani and Jeremy Kannapell. The dim lighting and illuminating glow of nearby flat screen TVs plays well to the sci-fi aura of Barbarella. Test your inner nerd at Geek Trivia or indulge in science fiction films, including bar-favorite Dr. Who. After hours appetizers like crab rangoon and chicken curry are served until 2 a.m., thanks to the kitchen of the adjoining Mekong Restaurant.
    Bubby & Sissy's
    Just a few blocks from the upscale bars of the State Street neighborhood, Bubby & Sissy's is on a mission to make Alton a wee bit freakier. The tacky-chic watering hole is LGBT friendly and hosts extremely popular drag shows every weekend at JP's Showlounge upstairs. Bubby & Sissy's may be a conservative's nightmare, but the place is overwhelmingly welcoming. Its back patio features a stunning waterfall display and always-burning campfire. The owners serve free dinners to patrons twice a week, and the Christmas lights decking out the bar provide the familiar feeling of throwing back tallboys in your college dorm room. The Glenn Becks of the world are petrified of stepping foot in a place like Bubby & Sissy's - probably because they'd never want to leave.
    Coltrane's
    A visually odd north-county gem, Coltranes surprises its guests with intriguing patrons and a nautical theme. (The space calls to mind the interior of a private boat, with wood paneling and portholes throughout.) There are a plethora of pool tables and a pretty rockin' jukebox. And while anywhere else, a wall of mirrors might seem seedy or strange, at Coltranes, it's actually a fun detail that creates a mirage of additional space. If you're a lady, don't you dare miss General Ladies' Night every Wednesday; Coltranes also offers karaoke every Saturday.
    The Crack Fox
    At The Crack Fox, visitors can feel free to let their freak flag fly or simply play the role of a leisurely standby. All are welcome at this eclectic downtown dive -- just don't be surprised to see anything from burlesque and drag performances one night to bondage and gotchic industrial garb the next. EDM spins, karaoke, open mics, metal shows and more also make up the list of participatory alternative entertainment offered here, and there's a huge selection of beer and handcrafted cocktails to wash it all down with. Take, for instance, the "ginger snap" made with ginger vodka, cinnamon Schnapps and lemonade. Come in to pick your poison and meet the cast of friendly fun-loving regulars, and don't forget to bring an open mind.
    Cutter's
    Cutter's boasts standard bar food at affordable prices. The menu consists of a short list of burgers, chicken strips, thin-crust pizza, fries, mozzarella sticks, nachos, fish, chicken salad and mac & cheese bites. Diners order at a walk-up window at the bar and see their orders prepared before their eyes.
    Dylan's Sports Bar & Grill
    With karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights, Dylan's gets so packed, it's almost hard to maneuver around all the elated people in the room. Although throughout the week Dylan's sees a variety of different people, the weekends belong to tipsy twenty-somethings screaming along to N'Sync's "Bye Bye Bye." Even when it's crowded, Dylan's has a friendly, welcoming vibe; the staff seems to enjoy being here people-watching just as much as their patrons. Dylan's offers 22 brands of beer and happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 p.m., with cheap appetizers and buckets of beer for $13.50. Because there is a separate non-smoking section attached to the main room, Dylan's is continuing to allow smoking, even with the county's new ban.
    Fubar
    If you're looking for metal or punk in the area, Fubar is self-described "everything louder than everything else." Housed in the renovated former Olive Motor Company building, Fubar is owned and managed by Bob Fancher, who did time for more than a decade at the Creepy Crawl. Fresh coats of paint, digital jukeboxes, two bars and a music equipment supply corner provide a great atmosphere for this loud-as-bombs rock venue. Somehow they were able to score Black Flag recently, if that tells you anything about the staff's awesome taste. Fubar is split into two equally sized, larger rooms; on the right lays the venue, and the left, the lounge. One can expect the best local and regional rock bands, cheap drink specials and some good-natured hazing from the bartenders at this midtown watering hole.
    Old Timers Saloon
    When St. Louis passed the new laws that tightened the reins on smoking in the area, Old Timers Saloon in Breckenridge Hills was left with a choice: Either stop serving bar food or ban smoking within the establishment. The owners chose the former, and it's a shame, because the inclusion of food would put this bar over the top. Described by staff as a "blue collar bar", Old Timers has a loyal clientele of neighborhood folks and union guys -- word is it was quite a cop hangout when it still served food, as the police station is just a couple blocks away. The upstairs area has a large U-shaped bar that can be approached from all angles and the newly renovated downstairs has a small stage for live entertainment and a pool table. Mondays are half price on everything -- so if they only still served food I think this place could potentially cure even the worst case of the Mondays.
    Great Grizzly Bear
    At the corner of Geyer Avenue and Menard Street in the historic Soulard neighborhood, the Great Grizzly Bear's brick building plays host to casual barflies and annual Mardi Gras revelers alike inside and on its large patio. The menu features more than a dozen appetizers, including potato skins, nachos and its specialty "Grizzly Balls," a shredded cheese and chicken concoction spiked with hot sauce and fried. Cajun specialties include jambalaya and Mardis Gras blackened shrimp. Great Grizzly Bear also offers soups, salads and a large selection of sandwiches, including burgers and melts. For dessert, try the fried twinkies (not for the faint of heart). Sports fans can hop on the Grizzly Bear sports shuttle to get to the game and back, so long as your promise to get your pre- and post- game on.
    The Heavy Anchor
    Known for its penchant to host a rowdy concert or two, The Heavy Anchor is part music venue, part watering hole. A thick wall divides the two halves, so the uninterested can drink in peace or join the fray of wild heathens on the music side. The bartenders serve cocktails in Mason jars, Heavy Anchor pins to festive-up that tatty punk jacket, and, just in case your Franzia problem is so out of control that you need a fix even in full view of strangers, boxed wine. The venue itself features a mid-level stage and a full-size sound booth, but it's the kind of place where bands feel comfortable enough to skip the stage and perform on the floor should they so desire. Nautical decor stretches from wall to wall with oceanic artifacts and vibrant paintings including a glaring narwhal and a friendly blue octopus toppling a cityscape with its tentacles. Located near Bevo Mill, The Heavy Anchor is a prime spot for shuffleboard playing with a regulation board and plenty of seating. Additionally weekly festivities include the likes of movie nights and trivia. You'll find local brews on tap, as well as such hometown munchies as Dogtown pizza, Billy Goat chips and Gus' pretzels.
    Hessler's Pub & Grill
    You don't have to be a Lindbergh High grad to enjoy Hessler's in South County, but it doesn't hurt. The popular reunion spot serves up typical pub grub - T-ravs, burgers, salads, St. Louis-style pizza and wings, which include the choice of either Buffalo, teriyaki, sweet barbecue or honey mustard sauce. Thirsty diners can wash it all down with a pitcher of beer.
    Joanie's Pizzeria
    Joanie's Pizzeria serves up a variety of Italian options. Appetizers include T-ravs -- available with meat or spinach-artichoke, pizzas with thin, thick or double crust, and a large sandwich menu, which includes standard deli sandwiches and specialties (the Soulard muffalata, for example, contains Genoa salami, Bavarian ham, mozzarella, roasted peppers and antipasto relish). After their meal, sports fans can catch the free shuttle to Cards and Rams games. During nice weather, the large patio opens.
    Lemmons
    Part pizza place, part concert venue, and part dive bar, Lemmons is a one-of-a-kind St Louis establishment located at 5800 Gravois in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. There’s always something to do at Lemmons; the bar hosts live music on stage several nights per week, but even when there’s not a band playing, Lemmons has plenty of activities to keep your whole group happy. If bar games are what you’re into, they’ve got you covered with foosball, shuffleboard, pinball, and pool, as well as a few arcade games. Wednesday and Thursday nights Lemmons hosts some of the city’s best trivia, and every Monday the bar offers a free pizza buffet while cult classics like High Fidelity, Army of Darkness, and The Princess Bride don the projector. While the main culinary attraction from Lemmons’ is their cheese-slathered Chicago-style pizza, the menu also includes thin-crust and pan pizzas, burgers and appetizers like garlic bread, cheese fries and that quintessentially St. Louisan snack - toasted ravioli.
    The Mad Magician
    From scene veterans and Archfront Media owners John Mancuso and Jason Rottler comes a new spot for rock, punk, metal and hip-hop to play. The Mad Magician gets its name from the mid '50s thriller film of the same name, paying homage to starring actor and St. Louisan Vincent Price. The venue's open floor plan features plenty of standing room and a huge stage manned with a blindingly colorful light show in rainbow hues. Mancuso hopes to bring in national artists (Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Method Man but are a few of the acts he's booked in the past) while giving locals the opportunity to open.
    Mandarin Lounge
    Find the gangway between Scape and Design Within Reach (hint: hang a left at the Maryland Plaza fountain), greet the black-clad bouncer, and take the elevator to the third floor. You're instantly greeted by a phalanx of Chinese warriors, set back against dark red walls. Mandarin is an upscale nightclub with one of the best rooftop patios in St. Louis. DJs spin Top 40 tunes, while Central West Enders tipple and recline in one of the intimate, soft-lit corners. Don't miss the bathrooms, which are joined by a large stone sink (girls are often found peering into the boy's side and vice versa) and feature a sheet of water magically raining down from the mirror. Washing your hands was never more fun.
    Mike Talayna's Juke Box Restaurant
    You wouldn't expect an unassuming, squat building on the commercial Hampton strip to be the flashiest bar in St. Louis, but it is. With dozens of sparkling disco balls, mirrored walls and a glitter-inlaid bar top, it's like the lovechild of a strip club and a disco roller rink, but one where karaoke is king. There's a feeling that what happens in this sparkling paradise stays here. The drinks aren't cheap, but the mixed ones are so strong that just one or two will have you crooning "I Want to Know What Love Is" in no time.
    Nadine's Gin Joint
    While Nadine's labels itself a "gin joint," its menu caters to drinkers and teetotalers alike. Appetizers include hot wings, toasted ravioli and quesadillas, while the main courses feature sandwiches, kebabs, pork steak and seafood options. Nadine's also offers daily specials, such as stuffed peppers, a chicken Philly and chili mac. Guests can choose to sit inside or, on nice days, enjoy Nadine's patio.
    The Phoenix
    Few other south-county venues can compete with the Phoenix's 14,000 square feet of space, pool tables, darts, Golden Tee, icy 22-ounce drafts and private party rooms. Add to the mix a range of DJ dance nights, live music and poker, and you have yourself a true superbar.
    Plush
    With 40,000 square feet to play with, Plush is a truly unique bar, restaurant, and music venue located just east of Grand Center in Midtown. You can sit down most nights of the week and enjoy a menu full of eclectic American food that borders on greasy spoon but with modern twists (meatloaf cupcakes, for example). Dinner and lunch are served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with kitchen hours extending to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And Brunch lovers can hit up Plush on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Whichever meal you choose, a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, as well as a full selection of beers, wines, and cocktails are available. Plush’s venue side has music several nights each week, while the second floor houses a smaller room for more intimate shows along with pool and ping-pong tables. Plush also has two spaces - a second-floor parlor and the building’s fourth-floor penthouse – both available for private events. RFT named Plush the "Best New Bar" in 2012, and things have only gotten better for this jack-of-all-trades, one-of-a-kind establishment.

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