Live music fills the air as revelers quaff cold, frothy beer and snack on traditional German food at Soulard Oktoberfest. The action takes place beneath a German-style tent across from the Soulard Market on 7th Street. There, frauleins fill bottomless mugs to flowing from a plethora of taps that minimize the wait in lines. In between mingling with friends, guests can appease their appetites with German pretzels as they listen to live musical acts, including the Dorfrockers and the Steve Ewing Band.
John Adam Lemp arrived in the United States in 1838, intent on seeking his new life and fortune. He established a grocery in St. Louis, but it was something else that catapulted him to success: a recipe for lager beer. The beer made his fortune, and the Lemps became one of the most wealthy, prominent families in St. Louis. As the money flowed in and the beer flowed out, Lemp decided to purchase a mansion where successive generations could rule their empire of breweries. That's exactly what they did, for a time.
Family fortunes began to turn, however, with the century. In 1901, the heir apparent to the family business died under mysterious circumstances, leading his father to take his own life in a mansion bedroom. The brewery persisted somewhat tenuously until Prohibition fell upon it like a hammer, shattering family fortunes. This led to a further spate of suicides, two of which were committed in the family mansion. The mansion's history of tragedy has led many to suppose that beneath its elegant, 100-year-old veneer are hiding dark secrets and supernatural presences.
Today, the parlor serves as a restaurant, richly appointed with original African mahogany and hand-painted ceiling murals. The rest of the house, though, is a venue for paranormal investigations and a stage for murder mystery dinner comedies. Many of the rooms even serve as guest suites for those brave enough to face ghosts dressed in Victorian-era undergarments.
On Saturday, September 21, 2013, revelers amass along Saint Louis's historic riverfront to kick off the fall with Laclede Landing's Oktoberfest. As live music permeates the air, guests munch on traditional German-style pretzels and fill 1-liter mugs with festive autumnal beers.
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.
Off Broadway—heralded as 2010's Best Rock Club by the Riverfront Times—lures in crowds several nights a week with a barrage of local bands and national touring acts of all genres. On Thursday, July 28, singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore performs with Strawfoot, an old-time revival country band with the requisite fiddle, banjo, and washboard abs. tune-yards annexes the venue on November 8 with violently convivial ukulele jams augmented by African-inflected vocal gymnastics, looped drums, and a duo of synchronized saxophonists. Musical Merry-Go-Round matinees amuse kids monthly on Sunday afternoons with entertainers such as Super Stolie on August 14 and Little Miss Ann on September 11.
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers? poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.