In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's 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."
A new player in the O'Fallon restaurant scene, K Pub & Grill shakes up the dining experience with an expansive pub menu and a smoke-free atmosphere. Pummel hunger pangs with the beef brisket in a zesty barbecue sauce ($13.99), or slap them with the chili-teriyaki-glazed tails of crispy fried jumbo shrimp (10 for $12.99). Seven specialty pizzas, including the Philly beef and cheese, slathered in A1 steak sauce ($15.99), vie silently for gustatory attention. A carnivorous theme runs through the menu, with wings available in barbecue pork ($6.99) and superhot chicken ($6.29). Flame-retardant mouths can test their strength by taking the hot-wings challenge, a 15-minute eat-off that ends with a photo on either the Wall of Champions or the Wall of Shame.
Before hosting moviegoers, the 111,000-square-foot Moolah Temple was home to a colony of pigeons. According to Amy Gill, co-head of the 1913-built temple's restoration team in 2003, the birds were "living in every crack and crevice" among debris, peeling paint, and cracked floors. Thanks to the team's refurbishing, leather couches and love seats, as well as balcony and stadium seating, now adorn the bird-free theater. Moolah Theatre only boasts a single screen, but what it lacks in quantity is made up for in size: its 20-by-45-foot screen showcases everything from the latest Hollywood releases to midnight movie staples such as The Big Lebowski.
Like "The Dude," Moolah Theatre celebrates bowling with eight lanes at its in-house retro alley. Post-flick fun can also include playing billiards, blasting tunes on the StarLink Internet Jukebox, or burping arcade games that ate too many quarters. Some lucky residents even call these amenities home—besides the theater and bowling alley, Moolah Temple makes room upstairs for 40 luxury lofts.
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.
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.