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.
At Spa Mia Bella, licensed aesthetician and nail tech Julie Blackburn draws on 14 years of experience to perform rejuvenating skin services. Her facials hydrate and oxygenate skin to fight off free radicals, stimulate collagen production, and yield a complexion as smooth as a butter sculpture of Nat King Cole. When Julie turns her attention to hands and feet during manicures and pedicures, she doesn’t stop at the nail beds. All of her spa manicures, for example, include an exfoliating sugar scrub along with a glossy coat of Vinylux polish, which lasts up to a week.
The kitchen at Tif's on the Landing churns out grilled burgers, hot pizzas, and shareable pub grub to complement the bar's full offering of beers and cocktails. Inside the red-walled bar area, fans down well drinks by the glass, goblet, or pitcher as sports games play on flatscreen TVs. Outdoor seating allows for mingling al fresco in the summertime, and DJs keep tunes pumping from the venue's 7,000-watt sound system Thursdays through Saturdays.
If you follow the right cobblestones on the Landing, you'll end up in front of Jake's Steaks, an eatery known for serving steaks, barbecue, and burgers within a T-bone's throw of Sidewinders Saloon. As the name implies, the focus is on steak. The culinary crew collects wet-aged Angus beef to create artistic interpretations of meat—cowboy rib eyes with perfect marbling, for instance, and Kansas City strip steaks topped with house butter. Their magnum opus is The Bull, a 25-ounce bone-in fillet that, if finished, earns the eater a spot on the Wall of Fame and a new accomplishment to include on their Viking resumé. The kitchen also churns out dry-rubbed barbecue ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches made from meat infused with flavors from the steak house's own round-the-clock smokers.
Jake's stands just in front of Sidewinders Saloon, a bar that dispenses a bevy of tequila and beer. Throughout the week, the bar hosts theme nights with live music and karaoke, and on select nights holds the doors open until 3 a.m. The building's close proximity to Busch Stadium and The Arch make it a prime spot for postgame celebrations or steak-tossing competitions on the banks of the Mississippi.
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.
Wooden shelves bear the weight of wine bottles behind the wraparound bar at Erato Wine Bar and Restaurant. Bartenders climb a wooden ladder to retrieve a 2006 Louis Latour pinot noir or a 2009 PlumpJack merlot, reading the labels in the dim light of hanging lamps. Around them, laughter bounces off the exposed bricks and spring-soled shoes bounce off the dark-wood floors. Yet the boutique selection of wine isn't the only thing that draws guests in. The bar also hosts high-end spirits such as St. Germain and an international selection of beers. The kitchen, meanwhile, complements this array of libations with tapas-style delicacies that change weekly. Cheese plates come with cured meats, nuts, and fresh fruits, and local ingredients enhance delicacies such as caprese salad. Chefs also whip up meal-size portions of pasta and seafood drizzled with truffle oil and sherry reductions.