The Haps: Tower Grove
The Loop, the Landing, the Central West End: been there, done it all. If you’re ready for a new place to go out, head to Tower Grove. The Grove, for those not already in the know, is an older part of St. Louis that’s building itself back up with trendy restaurants and popping nightlife. The neighborhood stretches around Tower Grove Park for blocks in every direction, but it is mostly centered in the area between Kingshighway and Manchester and Vandeventer avenues. Whether you’re looking for great food, a place to relax, or somewhere to party, the Grove has a place for you. Below are some of places that are definitely worth checking out.
Everest Café & Bar
4145 Manchester Ave.
This small family-owned restaurant is a haven for anyone who loves South Asian food. Specializing in Nepalese, Korean and Indian foods, Everest is home to the best lunch deal in St. Louis: $8.95 for its lunch buffet, which includes amazing sweet potato chapchae. The owners will welcome you to Everest like you’re family. They openly care for every one of their guests, which is apparent not only in their attitudes, but also in the restaurant’s mission to serve heart-healthy and vegetarian food options.
4198 Manchester Ave.
I’m not going to lie: I was originally attracted to this place because it looked like a vampire bar straight out of “True Blood.” But once I got inside (and surprise, surprise, discovered it was actually a tapas bar), I was hooked. The atmosphere is neo-gothic, which is to say there’s low lighting from iron chandeliers and candles, but also splashes of color in the décor and art displays. The tapas are good, and the service is amazingly fast. Tons of kudos go to the chef for the Chihuahua and guava empanadas; the crusts on these babies are cooked impeccably, exactly as pastries should be prepared. They also have an exciting drink menu, which experiments with things like hibiscus syrups. The bartenders are very proud of their Sazerac, an old-time cocktail that’s making a comeback now that absinthe is once again available in bars.
4140 Manchester Ave.
Atomic Cowboy is the type of place you can go out to without spending hours deciding what to wear. No matter how you dress or how you look, you will have a great time there partying with your friends. There are nightly drink specials, as well as a full menu if you get hungry while dancing. Music is provided every night by DJs and by what Atomic Cowboy calls “danceable bands.” Another great plus: It’s open until 3 a.m. nightly.