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A decade ago when Chip Schloss finished rehabbing the building at 4140 Manchester, Atomic Cowboy became a pioneer of the Grove's booming nightlife scene. Today, Atomic Cowboy is known for music performances every night of the week and a creative fresh mex menu. Food includes sweet potato empanadas with jalapeno cream, gaucho fries topped with chili con carne, Mexican spaghetti with chorizo meatballs, and all the burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas you can imagine. With a huge outdoor patio and firepit in addition to a full bar both inside and outside, Atomic Cowboy is a suitable place to let loose all year round. Food and drink specials are offered every Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. at happy hour. Other drink specials include $1 PBR nights and $0.50 Stag nights. Brunch is also served every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features huevos benedict with smoked salmon, a Mexican slinger, tres leches french toast and hot Kaldi's coffee to wash it all down.
Europe Nightclub looks like a fortress from the outside. Located just behind the City Museum, Europe has 2 floors, Gothic touches and a staff of pretty young things who couldn't be less interested in getting you a drink. But few clubs in St. Louis can hold a candle to Europe when you're talking serious dance music -- this is the new home for the Home Nightclub crowd and for B&W Productions' rotating cast of trance and dance demi-gods like Paul Oakenfold and Bad Boy Bill. The second floor offers a stellar view of the action on the dance floor, a separate bar, and white leather booths gone celestial with tiny points of green laser light decorating the booths and their occupants.
Once the odd new kid in the Grove, HandleBar has now established itself as a friendly neighborhood anchor. At first the bar seemed sort of doomed. Its bike-friendly-plus-we-have-pierogies mystique was slightly alarming, even more so because it occupies a space that has changed hands and names several times -- but its spunky appeal prevails. With 20 beers on tap, many of which are local, and plenty of specials daily, HandleBar is a nice place to fuel up on your bike commute home from work, to stop by for the latest ‘80s dance party or even simply to check out some bicycle artwork. The food menu features pizzas, plenty of vegetarian options and Russian-inspired entrees like blinchiki and pelmeni. In addition to famous dance parties, HandleBar also has room for local bands to perform.
Owners Steven Preston and Ron Bray wanted to bring a different kind of entertainment experience to St. Louis. Siam is their experiment. The restaurant, bar and nightclub wants patrons to eschew labels (gay or straight, restaurant or club) and just come out for some good food and dancing. Chef Tyler Davis’ pan-Asian menu features fusion interpretations of classic comfort food. The Korean fried chicken, or “KFC,” drizzled with a sweet soy reduction, is an Eastern take on the chicken wing. Likewise, the “Umami Sliders” dress up the classic bar staple with housemade tofu, sweet tomato jam, fried shallots and wild mushrooms. Most notable is the kimchi hot pot, a steaming dish of pork-infused broth that teems with house-fermented vegetables, spinach, leeks and pork belly. Siam also serves a comprehensive sushi selection; the spicy crab and baked scallop salad on the “Goku roll” makes it a must-try. Do not pass on the desserts. Formerly a pastry chef, Davis’ creativity is on full display with offerings such as plum wine poached pears with mascarpone cheese. If the weather permits, dine on the patio, then head to the dance floor to work off what you ate.
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