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.
Sponsored by Auto Source St. Louis, the fourth annual Saint Louis Auto Show Charity Gala grants guests an evening of drinks, merriment, and perusal of modern chariots, with proceeds benefiting several local charities. Gala-goers can sip libations and graze on hors d'oeuvres while viewing the event's silent auction or head to the dance floor to engage in competitive toe tapping. Anytime during the event, guests can slip into the Saint Louis Auto Show to thrill oculars with views of more than 500 cars, trucks, SUVs, and concept vehicles, including luxury rides from manufacturers such as Lotus, Bentley, and Maserati. Famed performer Gerry McCambridge, whose blend of comedy and psychic intuition inspired the television show The Mentalist, reads guests' minds and misplaced grocery lists, and an after party at The Pepper Lounge keeps good times rolling until 3 a.m., all benefiting several local charities.
Unique home-decor items can be an extension of one’s personality. At Rambles, a mix of new and used housewares and gifts allows decorators to find the final touches for any room. While upholstered couches and area rugs can contribute to a home’s overall look, it is Rambles’ more unusual accessories—bottle-cap magnets, framed comic-book memorabilia, and vintage LIFE magazines—that spark up conversations and cover up your pet squid’s ink splatters.
At ALIVE Bride 2014, engaged couples peruse St. Louis' wedding offerings, browsing displays from local photographers, florists, and luxury event venues. The event, which highlights more than 30 merchants total, is hosted by ALIVE Magazine, a St. Louis lifestyle magazine focused on culture, fashion, and nightlife.
Awarded the 2010 Best Used Book Store award by the Riverfront Times, Dunaway Books ensconces bibliophiles in a labyrinthine assortment of used and rare books and music. Bargain-book hunters traverse the store’s aisles of sorted and sub-sorted volumes for tucked-away treasures, stumbling upon a beloved classic from their childhood such as Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales ($3.53) and E.B. White's Stuart Little ($8), or Shakespeare's slam poetry. The store is painstakingly arranged, placing small press and local authors up front to boost exposure and tucking children’s books beneath the mezzanine to provide a private hideaway for page turning. Shelves of CDs, such as a recording of a Beethoven violin concerto, battle the onslaught of digital music, reawakening shoppers to the pleasures of holding a prized album in hand and using it to crush the nearest MP3 player. The store’s décor is in keeping with its passionate, torch-bearing philosophy: the restroom is plastered floor to ceiling with bookmarks ranging from ticket stubs to photographs, and the basement’s expansive collection of tomes rests against time-worn, stately walls of exposed brick. A view from the mezzanine allows shoppers to drink in the sight of the written word bathing in natural light and fellow bookworms bathing in the spray of fountain pens.
Begun in 1985 as a strictly volunteer-based project of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship, Plowsharing Crafts grew over the years into a thriving nonprofit with two locations and an expansive inventory of eclectic wares from around the globe. The staff is committed to selling fair-trade art and handcrafts in order to provide much needed income and nurture the businesses of artisans, 70% of whom are women, from more than 45 developing countries around the world. The selection of items ranges from housewares to jewelry and beyond, many of which are made with sustainable and recycled materials or from food grown with sustainable methods.