The cheers of fans at Busch Stadium drift toward O'Kelley's At The Ballpark, located within walking distance of the St. Louis Cardinals' stomping grounds. A fleet of flat-screen TVs lines the exposed-brick walls of the pub, broadcasting the games of every team in the city and embarrassing trampoline accidents of every rival team.
As patrons root for the home team, the chefs busily whip up sauerkraut and thousand island dressing for reuben sandwiches. Housemade barbecue sauce simmers on the stove, destined for plates of slow-cooked pork. The chatter of billiard balls punctuates the sound of busy silverware and players at a Golden Tee arcade game. On select nights, a DJ spins tunes or live musicians fill the pub with twanging guitars and lyrics about wearing illegal sunglasses to school.
The Precinct takes its name from the nearby St. Louis Police Department headquarters. Though that proximity inspires the decor and a few police-themed puns on the menu, such as the Hot Pursuit Wing Challenge, the restaurant focuses more on serving good food and drink than on a gimmick. Local baseball legend Jim Edmonds co-owns the eatery, and he hired St. Louis native and culinary whiz Ben Welch to put together the menu. Welch opted for a friendly, down-to-earth array of barbecue, flatbreads, wings, and steak burgers, using fine ingredients to make the simple fare even more delicious. The eats are paired with an array of beers on tap and a handful of craft cocktails, including the Lucille Ball, a glass of Angry Orchard cider spiced up with Tanqueray 10 gin and ginger liqueur.
Cheers rise whenever the home team scores a point at Pepper's Grill and Bar. Maybe it's a 30-year history that gives the space its space swagger. Pair that with 27 HDTVs, and almost every table has a good view of the action. Abiding by the tenets carved into the stones of the original basketball rule book, Pepper's pairs its spectator sports with burgers, pizzas, and its signature pepper bites. Most impressive on the menu is the Cowboy burger, which is piled with bacon, onion rings, cheddar, and barbecue sauce. This combination of atmosphere and edibles earned Pepper's Grill and Bar accolades from the readers of the Riverfront Times, who awarded it the Best Neighborhood Bar (City) in 2011.
Nothing too terrifying lurks inside Ye Olde Haunt, even though the bar's decor—a macabre mix of skulls, grim reaper dolls, and horror posters—resembles a haunted house. That ghoulish humor continues on a menu whose cheekily named dishes include Vampire Repellent—a garlic-covered french roll—and The Texas Chainsaw, a bacon- and barbecue-sauce-topped burger on texas toast.
Besides pairing well with meals, beers such as Turbodog and Guinness Black can calm diners during the horror films that the bar screens nightly. Ye Olde Haunt's entertainment isn't limited to thrills and chills; on Fridays and Saturdays, for instance, local bands take the stage for scare-free nights of rocking.
All eyes on the stage. The opponents face each other. Lights highlight the tension in their clenched jaws. With a rolling of shoulders and cracking of knuckles, the duel begins. Fingers dance up and down piano keys as notes crash into each other, backdropped by the cheers of the crowd. The fevered scene is filled with skill, sweat, and determination, but it?s all in good fun, and just another night at Lucky's Dueling Piano Bar. Each night, professional piano players from around the country take on the challenge on baby grand pianos. People can use ziplines that travel from the audience to the stage to send written song requests and tips to the musicians. And while the show is underway, guests relax around tables as servers deliver pizzas, wraps, sliders, and libations aplenty.
The classic American sports-bar vibe effused by Market Pub House’s memorabilia-covered walls and overhead TVs belies the eatery’s diverse spread of multinational pub fare. Like a cozy bathrobe woven from dark matter, the menu combines the comfortable and familiar with the exotic, dishing out traditional deli staples and hot wings along with tangy greek salads, crusty banh mis, and Latin- and Asian-infused appetizers. Eighteen frosty beers on tap lubricate game-day viewing across multiple flat-screen TVs as well as weekly karaoke and trivia, and an ample outdoor patio hosts guests at more than a dozen wrought-iron tables.