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Food & Drink

Best Neighborhood Bar (North County) 

African Palace Bar & Grill

So Mr. and Mrs. John Q. South-City-Hipster, with your ironic bad-beer drinking and your Hee-Haw-meets-Ramones music collection, what do you think passes for culture in north county? Camaros and KSHE classics? Au contraire. Step into African Palace, Kike and Koffo Osun's little restaurant/bar near where West Florissant Avenue meets New Halls Ferry. You're greeted by artwork of Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To your left is a room with the bar, the kitchen and some tables for dining. Belly up and order a brew — a Tusker from Kenya, say. The other room — more dimly lighted — is where the fun happens. Wednesday nights old-school hip-hop is spun (don't worry, Koffo Osun doesn't tolerate a thug scene). On Friday night a reggae DJ takes over the booth. Saturdays are reserved for the various lilting strains of Afro-pop — soukous, highlife, soca, zouk. If you're feeling a little peckish, don't be looking for a jar of pickled eggs. Have the kitchen whip you up one of their African or Caribbean specialties. The Nigerian-born Osun says the clientele for his nine-year-old club comes from across the entire metro area. And with such a warm and engaging host, it's no mystery why.

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