At Pink Galleon Billiards and Games, dozens of hot-pink pool tables make up just part of a colorful and enticing backdrop. Beach-themed decor abounds, and life-size airbrushed murals of pirates, mermaids, and nautical displays sprawl out across the walls. Since the first cue ball was hit in 1993, Pink Galleon Billiards and Games has expanded to three locations spread throughout the Saint Louis area. In addition to pool, Pink Galleon blitzes boredom with ping-pong, foosball, unlimited thumb wars, and arcade games. The family-owned business also boasts a menu of finger-friendly eats, ice-cold beers, and mixed drinks, all of which helped its South County location earn the title of Best Neighborhood Bar in South County from the Riverfront Times.
In the family-style dining room at LuBar & Bistro, chatter from an underground bar, full-service bar drifts up the stairs, hinting at hidden revelry. A stone-fired oven for pizzas spills warmth out across the open space, skilled hands craft Italian ice cream, and spoons click against pots of housemade barbecue sauce, dressings, and marinara. Servers cruise by, transporting sandwiches and gluten-free options down to the underground lounge, where neon darts in ghosts of blue and pink off of a forest of bottles and a gleaming marbled bar. Bartenders mix drinks, ice clicking to punctuate tunes on the jukebox and occasional live music. As patrons lower glasses full of suds from Sam Adams, Hoegaarden, and Smithwick’s, big-screen TVs show sporting events and a soon-to-arrive cadre of video games—including Golden Tee—promise digital thrills. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, a breakfast buffet beckons to early risers from 8 a.m. to noon.
There's plenty of entertainment at Silver Creek Saloon & Grill: live bands perform throughout the week, and RedZone football games are broadcast on an oversize projector and nine flat-screen televisions. In the warmer months, visitors can play sports themselves, serving volleyballs across Silver Creek’s sandy court.
Lump crab cakes, steak sandwiches, and hand-breaded shrimp po’ boys are just a few of the snacks available to patrons who arrive hungry or who work up an appetite on the court. Bartenders mix cocktails and pour cold beers to slake thirsts indoors or on the outdoor patio. Groups of friends can also gather in the pub's private party room, which can be reserved without a fee.
In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's in the historic Soulard district, less than a half mile from the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The eatery's drink specials and tasty pub staples, served for lunch, dinner, and late-night owl watching, established the bar as a neighborhood favorite, and inspired its owner to declare it "The Best Bar in the Whole Wide World." Jimbo has since expanded Big Daddy's to four locations in the St. Louis metro area, including two in Illinois.
In 1910, fourth-generation German immigrant Alvin O. Eckert set up a small produce stand on a roadside in Belleville, Illinois. More than 100 years later, that roadside stand has flourished into the expansive Belleville plot of Eckert's Farm: a pastoral acreage where orchards surround a country-style restaurant, bakery, and handmade-custard shop. The Eckert family's sixth and seventh generations ensure this farm remains a true family affair. Sixth-generation member Jim Eckert is the chief horticulturist, and his cousin-once-removed, Chris, oversees retail operations and the sale of the farm's homegrown produce and spare scarecrow parts. Chris's sister Jill helms the food program, and his wife Angie oversees the Country Store and colorful Garden Center.
Throughout the year, visitors arrive on the Belleville farm's grounds for a range of seasonal activities, including peach-, apple-, and pumpkin-picking. During the summer, a concert series features live outdoor music on Friday and Saturday nights, and in the fall, staff lead bonfires and evening hayrides through the orchards. Inside the farm building, instructors teach cooking classes for adults and children, as well as a wine-pairing class.
Family-friendly activities also abound at the Eckert family's other two farms. The Grafton farm, where public apple-picking began in 1964, offers daily animal feeding and miniature golf. The seasonal Millstadt farm is home to a workshop, haunted hayrides, and an array of warm-weather children's attractions—including a 70-foot underground slide.
Bathed in smoky red and blue lighting like the jazz clubs of yore, Cupids Steakhouse literally glows with a purple, royal elegance. The grand piano, surrounded by a low wall of blue-lit glass blocks, waits stoically for the touch of a performer, while the sharply dressed wait staff hustle around it. They cater fine steaks and seafood from kitchen to table, followed by the wafting aromas of filet mignon, New Zealand lamb chops, and buttery king crab legs.