You already understand that Soulard is ground zero for all manner of Mardi Gras festivities — the handy Mardi Gras guide in this very paper has helped to establish that fact in your mind. But what you might not know is that all over this city, bars are getting into the spirit of the weekend/holiday with celebrations of their own, despite these establishments' unfortunate locations outside of the main party zone. With Mardi Grove you can enjoy the best of both worlds — the crowded, rollicking Soulard realm and the less-crowded-but-still-rocking Grove area — and all you have to do is get yourself to rBar (4054 Chouteau Avenue; 314-480-2415 or www.rbarstl.com) around 9 a.m. There, you'll find a bloody mary bar and a free breakfast (you're going to need something to soak up all that booze), plus $5 shuttle rides to Soulard. After you've had all the Frenchy fun you can handle down by the river, hop back on the shuttle by 4:30 p.m. and return to the Grove for rBar's after party, complete with DJs and more Mardi-ing. Will you be able to close the joint down at 3 a.m.? Only the beads know the answer to that question.
Sat., Feb. 2, 2008

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