Friendly's Sports Bar and Grill, voted Best Neighborhood Bar by Riverfront Times in 2007, first opened its doors in 1928 under the moniker Friendly Tavern, and served as a community social club and a meeting place for church groups. Since then, the spot has changed hands and embraced modern technology, but retains its original unpretentious atmosphere. More than 40 flat-screen TVs let patrons watch multiple sports games at the same time by crossing their eyeballs in different directions. A game room houses regulation pool tables, arcade games, and more than 30 other diversions, and a spacious outdoor beer garden with picnic benches lures patrons outside during warm months.
Friendly's Sports Bar and Grill complements cold beers and mixed drinks with a menu that encompasses all types of pub appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees, such as the ever-popular fried chicken. The spot's kitchen can also cater private events with trays of gourmet meats and cheeses, or the Southern Chef Special Buffet, which makes bellies growl with a charming Southern twang.
Nick's Pub keeps crowds of locals and nighttime revelers satisfied with a menu of hearty Irish-American pub fare and a menu of more than 90 beers on tap—many of which come from local brewers. Guests chow down on shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, or half-pound burgers as they sip craft beers. They can play friendly games of darts and pool, or they dance and laugh along to live musicians and open-mic comedy on Sunday nights. Nick's Pub is also smoke-friendly, though they don't allow cigars or scented cigarettes.
In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's on the Landing and Soulard 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."
The Library's exposed-brick walls and low-hanging lights embody its chic, industrial décor, whereas pool tables and pub games fill the hall. Each weekend, a live DJ blasts hip beats and Top 40 hits to encourage rug-cutting, and more than 20 flat screens boast every NFL game on Sunday and footage of the owner's all-feline candid-camera show otherwise.
With panoramic views of downtown and the St. Louis Gateway Arch looming in the background like a giant croquet wicket, baseball enthusiasts and Cardinals fans can visit sites they don't normally see on game day. During the tour, fans will swing through the Redbird Club—a spacious, closed-in section of the ballpark with some of the best views available—as well as the press box, where the world first learned that Mark McGwire's goatee was actually a toupee. Visitors get to check out other notable spots in the stadium, including the Cardinals dugout, Trinket City, and the secret fifth base. While tours are usually available daily, visitors are strongly encouraged to call ahead.