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What differentiates an Irish pub from just another bar? Some say the food, some say the beer and some say the decor. So what makes 100 West an Irish pub? Well, the owner is Irish, there are plenty of beers on tap, and there are a few clovers alongside the dart boards on the walls. Other than that, 100 West is just a standard, friendly neighborhood bar. The place's claim to fame are its liquor pitchers, which you can get for just $8 on Saturday nights. They're also experimenting with regular Saturday lingerie nights, which are exactly what they sound like: If ladies show up in lingerie, the liquor pitchers are free. Should ladies in their unmentionables fail to pull you in, they've got daily happy hour, friendly waitresses and free shuffleboard.
The 12th & Park Recreation Center is a great facility in a great location. An indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, weight room and boxing gym accompany outdoor basketball courts and sports fields just south of downtown - all free of charge. All it takes is a basic registration and you can play basketball on courts that won RFT’s “Best of St. Louis” award in 2009, or spar in 2008’s best boxing gym. You can pump iron day and night if that’s your thing, or take a water aerobics class in the morning. Since the '70s, this versatile facility has kept innumerable children and adults entertained. Currently, a local charter school holds recess at the center, and various after-school programs keep children busy in the afternoon. Adult class offerings vary by season, but the weight room is available as long as the center is open.
Among the clubs and hip hangouts on Washington Avenue downtown lies 12th Street Diner. The place is a throwback to the '50s and rock & roll. The menu features root beer floats, omelets, pot roast and burgers, including the La Bamba burger that is topped with pepperjack cheese, jalapenos, chipotle mayo and guacamole. This bright spot also features another diner classic: apple pie, cherry pie and a pie du jour.
17th Street Bar & Grill is a barbecue restaurant in Murphysboro.
17th Street Bar & Grill 1711 West Highway 50, O'Fallon, Illinois; 618-622-1717. Mike Mills has been named grand champion at the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (a.k.a. the Super Bowl of Swine) three times -- a dynasty as notable as the Yankees of the late 1990s or the Patriots of this decade. His trademark sauce is a coppery brown, layered with flavor and applied with proper restraint. Two- and three-meat plates allow you to sample several different meats (brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, spicy smoked beef sausage), but the standout dish is the baby back ribs. Smoked in a pit over apple- and cherry-wood for as long as seven hours, Mills' ribs taste like pork raised on pure autumn sunshine.
In the heart of Soulard, 1860 Saloon, Game Room and Hardshell Cafe serves up traditional, delicious fare, plus cajun and creole food. Customer favorites include our Famous Crab Cakes and Homemade Chicken Strips. The oysters, cajun pasta, pizzas and burgers are always a great choice. Enjoy a reasonably priced meal and drinks before taking the complimentary shuttle to Cardinals and Blues games. You can enjoy live Blues, Classic Rock, R&B, and Motown bands 365 days a year in the 1860 Saloon. Play foosball, pool and more in the Game Room. The third area, the Hardshell Café, also has a full bar, ample seating, and a several hundred gallon fish tank. There is lovely outside dining where fur babies are always welcome!
Located in Arnold, 21 Rock Bar and Grill is surrounded by thick forests, farmland, and not a whole lot else. 21 Rock has been around for thirteen years and includes a spacious stage and dance floor, six pool tables and the "best priced drinks in Jefferson County" within 3500 square feet. Although it used to be a rough biker bar, and still a stop on many bikers' run, regulars promise 21 Rock is safe and comfortable. (Just think of those big, tough bikers with hearts of gold and "MOM" tattooed prominently on their biceps.) In fact, 21 Rock was the top donor for the March of Dimes three years in a row and regularly participates in other charity events. Friday night is ladies (and gentlemen) night at 21 Rock, with $10 rail and drafts. They also have regular bucket specials -- and famous hot wings.
Edwardsville's 222 Artisan Bakery offers more than the grab-it-and-go options typical of many coffee shop/bakery combos. Within the small, unassuming cafe lies an extensive menu, including sandwiches such as tuna, chicken salad and a create-your-own option, allowing diners to select their choice of bread, cheese, meat, spreads (tapenade, aioli and mayo, to name a few) and veggies. 222 also has pizza Fridays, another opportunity for diners to let their creative juices flow and select from such toppings at feta cheese and andouille sausage.
A central nighttime oases on Cherokee Street, this 20,000-square-foot behemoth features an ArtDimensions gallery on the second floor as just one element of its three stories full of neon lights and art. Hula hoopers, festive events and food trucks are no stranger to this popular weekend party pit. 2720 Cherokee brings in world-renowned DJs and dub steppers as well as a variety of reggaeton and miscellany to blast through a great big sound system, so expect to see ravers commingling with hipsters and hippies -- a truly utopian experience for the colorful club-hopper.
Though unassuming and simple from the outside, 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar provides outstanding hospitality, more than 700 wines and one of the best beer lists in the city. The result is a relaxing yet engaging opportunity to sip, contemplate or just plain drink your vino. Though lacking a full menu, there's a nice array of cheese, cured meats and crackers to hold you over. Pricing is great, with bottles marked up just $9 over 33's very competitive "take home" prices (it is a wine shop, too), which makes 33 a great place to go big on a specialty bottle. The oft-rotating draft selection, along with the list of bottled brew, highlights great beers both American and imported, many of which are rarely available on tap locally.
3500 Winehaus offers classic wine-bar fare too accompany its extensive selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Inside offers bistro seating and couches to lounge in or, when weather permits, oenophiles can indulge their pleasures on the patio. 3500 Winehaus' concise menu includes meat-and-cheese plates as well as sweet and savory cakes from Hank's Cheesecakes.
Ain't nothing like a good rooftop bar, and 360 is one of the swankest. Occupying the entire top floor of the Hilton at the Ballpark, 360 offers a view that rivals the Arch, without the cramped space of those washing machine-sized trams inside our unmistakable landmark. The owners of 360 spared no expense; the posh interior features a spectacular two-story waterfall, elegant bars both inside and out, and glassed-in VIP seating for the well-heeled. The extravagant menu features high-end and locally-sourced ingredients, and a perfectly curated drink list that will make your mouth water. From the roof deck, check out the nearby Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River churning just underneath, the cityscape to the west and a unique vantage point directly into Busch Stadium.
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