Staying hip and tipsy: Which places to take your visiting friends
Having out-of-town friends visit St. Louis is always a delight. That being said, there’s so much pressure on you to make sure that they have a great time. What do you do after you’ve already taken them around campus, gotten a fancy meal point-funded dinner at Ibby’s and shared fried pickles at Three Kings Public House? Here are some options for places to go:
If they’re environmentally conscious, take them to HandleBar.
HandleBar has been named one of the best bike-themed bars in the country. That’s a real fun fact. Tell your friend that fun fact before biking over to the Grove to check this place out. Not only does it have unique cocktails and an expansive food menu, but HandleBar also has a vending machine that has a variety of items ranging from the bike-themed (ponchos, bike locks, etc.) to regular vending machine items (gum, candy, etc.). The vending machine also spits out T-shirts and cigarettes for when you’re drunk enough to consider purchasing those things from a vending machine.
Location: 4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., closed Monday
If they’re into communism, take them to Propaganda.
This relatively new addition to Cherokee Street is a Marxist-Leninist themed bar that pays homage to Moscow, Russia. Without context, it might look like it’s a place that appropriates communism for capitalist means (the drinks aren’t crazy expensive, but still). But actually, Propaganda’s owner Tatyana Telnikova—who also happens to own HandleBar—based the concept off her own experience growing up in Russia. According to her, the Communist propaganda (get it?) plastering the bright red walls is meant to be strikingly beautiful, yet also remind its patrons to think for themselves. Propaganda also has a diverse selection of vodka, so if thinking about the implications of Communism is too heavy to deal with, you can just get trashed.
Location: 2732 Cherokee St., St. Louis
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., closed Sunday and Monday
If they’re trendier than you are, take them to Foam.
Snuggled at the corner of Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue, Foam is a great venue to bring someone and pretend that you’re cooler than you actually are. Not only is it a coffee shop with a full bar, but Foam also hosts touring and local bands nightly (and even comedy shows!). The regular crowd is usually beanie-wearing, jean-jacket clad hipsters who probably all have at least one Polaroid camera somewhere on their bodies, so take that as you will.
Location: 3359 South Jefferson Ave., St. Louis
Hours: Sunday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but open later on show nights
If they’re metal, take them to Crow’s Nest.
This bar is technically in Maplewood, but it’s only a 10-minute ride from campus. With its funky wall art and eclectic clientele, it’s definitely got the grime of a typical dive bar. One of the benefits, though, is that you can actually sit and have a conversation with someone without being overpowered by the music. They’re good during the day, too. On Saturdays and Sundays, they have an event called “Metal Brunch,” which is basically regular brunch with sassy names. They don’t have appetizers and entrees, but they do have “Decappetizers” and “Judas Feasts,” along with killer drinks. You can also play games including Skee-Ball. Plus, there’s a change machine so you can finally get quarters to finally do laundry! Or get quarters to give to me to do laundry!
Location: 7336 Manchester Road, Maplewood, Mo.
Hours: Sunday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
If they’re chronically antsy, take them to Silver Ballroom.
This funky dive bar is a bit of a hike, but it’s worth it. Sorry for the spoiler, but it’s not actually a ballroom. It does have endless pinball machines, though. Maybe not endless, but I’ve never counted them, and since I don’t like counting past nine, I’m going to go ahead and say that they’re endless. You and your friend can work those competitive muscles by playing with—or against—each other. Even though it’s not a real ballroom, you still might feel like a princess. Once, I complimented the pizza-shaped coasters they had and the bartender gave me a stack of them for free. For free! Who am I, the princess of Genovia?
Location: 4701 Morganford Rd., St. Louis
Hours: Sunday 12 p.m. to 12 a.m., Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.