The despair in Marlon Brando's cry of "Stellaaaa" is lost as the nine big-screen TVs are drowned out by the sights and sounds of confetti cannons, airborne toilet-paper streamers, and rainfalls of bubbles. During afternoon and dinner service, Ballyhoo Restaurant & Bar is tamer, dishing up a menu of classic American fare, including six burgers, more than 10 kinds of sandwiches and wraps, and six pizzas. At night, however, Ballyhoo is a haven for tomfoolery and shenanigans of all kinds.
Framed posters of classic Hollywood A-listers—including Elvis, Brando, and Hepburn—cover the dining-room walls at this movie-theater-themed eatery. Here the staff encourages patrons to indulge in the fun instead of silencing raucous laughter and insisting diners behave themselves or risk finding an alka seltzer under their pillow from the bar fairy. From behind a marble countertop, bartenders dole out a range of boozy beverages while well-loved movies flicker across nine flat-screen TVs. Diners can pick reasonable meals off the menu, or set themselves up for The Challenge—a dinner plate packing four 8-ounce burgers layered in four types of cheese as well as half a pound of bacon and two onion rings. To win half off their final bill (not valid with this Groupon), challengers are allotted 20 minutes to gobble the whole dish while sticking their tongues out at the food gods.
The doughsmiths at Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria craft thin-crust pizzas bubbling with an untouched surface of cheese or loaded with toppings such as jalapeño peppers, bacon, and shrimp. It’s their specialty and what they’re known for—“This is the place to go if you like St. Louis-style, thin-crust pizza (though they do offer a thick crust pizza, too) or just want to kick back and have a beer,” raves Metromix.
But the menu isn’t limited to pizzas. Each day, the kitchen roasts and slices tender beef for roast beef sandwiches dipped in savory au jus. The au jus is prepared in house, as is the meat sauce that graces Cecil Whittaker's pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatball sandwiches. There’s also a hearty selection of smokehouse dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served with homestyle sides of green beans and coleslaw. A weekday lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gives diners a chance to sample different entrees and sides–along with a salad and pizza bar–and creative additions the chefs cook up like sloppy joe's one day or bacon cheeseburgers the next.
St. Louis Fitness Boot Camp's creator and head trainer, Johnny King, knows how hard it can be to start working out. Enormous corporate gyms seem designed to intimidate the new exerciser, and the workout genies trapped inside at-home DVDs can only offer motivation after they’ve been put in the player. That’s why he made it his mission to design an exercise program geared toward beginners, providing a low-stakes introduction to training and plenty of positive motivation.
He constructs easy-to-follow circuit training routines that alternate between working the lower body, core, and upper body, relying on the combination of exercises over time to whip bodies into peak shape. His small groups of trainees often encourage one another and help keep one other accountable to exerting their maximum effort during routines. Within the climate-controlled facility, exercisers shed sweat and pounds on spring-loaded floors that ease impact on joints. To supplement the workouts, he and the trainers provide nutritional counseling and even emotional counseling, gently reminding each student why they chose to start working out.
Connie's Green Grocery stocks its shelves with organic fruits and vegetables, flowering plants, and locally raised meats free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Apples, bananas, plums, kale, carrots, beets, and yams have all been reported to thrive here, as have bison burgers and pork chops with sensational stories to tell. One of the ways the shop distributes these wares is by sending parcels of healthy produce to the doorsteps of customers. Each box adds a welcome note of surprise and mystery to family dinners by unveiling an ever-changing array of greens, fruit, and veggies in different combinations every week. Specialty all-fruit or all-veggie packages are available for those who love one but not the other.
Already dedicated to the environment, Connie's Green Grocery plans to further its commitment with an upcoming aquaponic farm. This sustainable approach to food production, which allows for the cultivation of plant life alongside fish, uses less than 2% of the water a conventional farm would require.
From the moment students walk through Barefoot Yoga Studio's french doors and into its expansive practice space, they find themselves immersed in serenity owed to soft lighting, gleaming hardwood floors, and the noncompetitive attitude fostered by owner Jenn Kasper. Along with her team of fellow certified yoga instructors, Jenn leads inclusive yoga classes suitable for all experience levels and grounded in the Vinyasa and hatha yoga traditions. Beginners are encouraged to build a solid foundation for practice in Level 1 root classes or further their practice at their own pace in open-level classes that offer variations on classic poses. Savvier stretchers attempt challenging backbends and arm balances in intermediate Level 2 classes.
In addition to yoga, Barefoot also offers instruction in American Tribal Style belly dance. Offered in six-week sessions, the classes lead dancers through the belly-swaying basics, including lessons on posture, group maneuvers, and where to find office-appropriate crop tops.
Image Sun’s professional tanning consultants add sun-kissed color to their clients' bods with a variety of airbrush services and tanning beds. Before patrons begin tanning treatments, specialists perform a complimentary skin-type analysis, which gauges the proper tanning equipment, power, and session time to prevent burning while building a deep base tan. The salon’s private tanning rooms stock four levels of UV beds, which use variable doses of bronzing rays to gradually build up a golden complexion like a game of patty-cake with King Midas. Sun-shy clients can bypass ultraviolet exposure inside the Mystic Tan booth, which spritzes pasty torsos in just minutes. The high-end tanning tonic dries quickly, leaves skin oozing a breezy tropical scent, and—like the embarrassment of calling your boss "Dad"—fades in about one week. The salon also supplies a stock of tan-enhancing lotions from brands such as Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin, as well as ShineWhite teeth-whitening kits that help sharpen the contrast of newly bronzed skin.