A huge yellow sign in the shape of a two-man log saw hangs above the unpainted clapboard façade of Sawmill BBQ, emblazoned in bold block letters with the straight-forward phrase "BBQ RESTAURANT". Inside, the restaurant hums with the activity of diners chowing down on bratwursts and cheeseburgers as the scent of dry-rubbed spare ribs and tender beef brisket fills the air. Traditional dishes of coleslaw and baked beans sidle up to morsels of turkey beast and pork loin, while homemade hot, sweet, and mustard-based sauces slather pork, beef, and the faces of ravenous diners. The surroundings promote a feel-good vibe of backcountry hospitality, with its big, grassy lawn, huge, screened-in porch, and rustic handcarts, pumps, and farm implements.
For more than 30 years, Off Broadway has showcased national and local acts in an intimate bar atmosphere. No audience member is more than 30 feet from the stage during the venue's live shows, making for intensely personal experiences and extraordinarily obvious note passing on stage. The calendar of upcoming acts includes April Smith and the Great Picture Show (April 13), a KDHX R.E.M. tribute show (April 27), singer-songwriter Garrison Starr (April 28), and Joe Pug (May 14). Attendees can also loosen their tongues for appreciative whistles with drinks gathered from the bar.
John Adam Lemp arrived in the United States in 1838, intent on seeking his new life and fortune. He established a grocery in St. Louis, but it was something else that catapulted him to success: a recipe for lager beer. The beer made his fortune, and the Lemps became one of the most wealthy, prominent families in St. Louis. As the money flowed in and the beer flowed out, Lemp decided to purchase a mansion where successive generations could rule their empire of breweries. That's exactly what they did, for a time.
Family fortunes began to turn, however, with the century. In 1901, the heir apparent to the family business died under mysterious circumstances, leading his father to take his own life in a mansion bedroom. The brewery persisted somewhat tenuously until Prohibition fell upon it like a hammer, shattering family fortunes. This led to a further spate of suicides, two of which were committed in the family mansion. The mansion's history of tragedy has led many to suppose that beneath its elegant, 100-year-old veneer are hiding dark secrets and supernatural presences.
Today, the parlor serves as a restaurant, richly appointed with original African mahogany and hand-painted ceiling murals. The rest of the house, though, is a venue for paranormal investigations and a stage for murder mystery dinner comedies. Many of the rooms even serve as guest suites for those brave enough to face ghosts dressed in Victorian-era undergarments.
Led by executive chef Dylan Cunningham, the crew at Sage Urban American Grill works hard to shrink the eatery's carbon footprint by employing a number of green practices. First and foremost, they craft dishes using fresh ingredients from local harvests, including herbs plucked from the organic garden on the restaurant's outdoor dining patio. Second, the staff ensures all kitchen waste gets reused when possible, by composting food scraps, recycling recyclables, and setting aside fry oil for biofuel.
The chefs at D's Place add their own spin to three classic pub staples: wings, pizzas, and burgers. They toss their traditional and boneless chicken wings in 14 sauces, including Atomic and lemon pepper, and top pizzas with ingredients such as whole pieces of roasted garlic, and hamburger. When not sprinkled onto pizzas, hamburger meat arrives in the form of half-pound patties.
Glasses rise in toasts full of domestic beers and cocktails in the exposed-brick dining room. After meals, guests can enjoy weekly rounds of karaoke and trivia, vie for a hole in one during games of PowerPutt, or play rounds of skeeball for rewards such as free beer or pizza.