Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in its footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The Tuesday, July 19 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and Glee star Matthew Morrison, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are grounded in the kind of American culinary tradition that chef Dave Rook knows best: raised in a family that ran a drive-in burgers-and-root-beer stand in Alton, Illinois, an appreciation for the comfortable side of dining runs in his blood. Globally inspired dashes of red chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you’ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."
Every Thursday through Saturday night, two pro piano players sit down at Jive and Wail's two baby grand pianos and proceed to bang out Top 40 hits from a plethora of eras, including time that has not yet come to pass, though these future-songs cannot be heard by present-day ears. Audience participation is not only encouraged but demanded by the dueling pianists—who are not above threatening their audience with atonal jazz if no song requests are forthcoming. Once you've made your request, the bar's high-tech sound system makes sure you won't miss it while refreshing your tipple at the full-service bar.
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.
Blondies Salon's experienced cosmetologists revamp visages by mowing down rogue hairs with their waxing services. Guests can sit back and let professional hands shape and slim unsightly eyebrows (a $7 value) and evict wandering whiskers from the chin and lip (a $10 value). Patrons can also have a follicle artist lop off dead ends and uneven layers, styling locks to and around their hair-heart's content. Afterwards, mono-toned manes receive a splash of highlights that brighten up the hair like a prison searchlight locked on an escaping tin-man.
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.