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." Jimbo has since expanded Big Daddy's to four locations in the St. Louis metro area, including two in Illinois.
Skyview Drive-In, opened in 1949, has weathered the ravages of multiple tornados, enduring as a two-screen throwback to old-school cinema. When the sun sets, the twin screens display double features of recent Hollywood releases in clear digital format, while FM radio simulcasts the soundtracks. The viewing area—organized so taller cars never cut off smaller cars' sightlines—borders a playground for youngsters and a concession stand with classic movie snacks. Celebrating its roots, the theater occasionally hosts class classic car (defined as 1987 or older) night where the driver is admitted free. For first-timers, Skyview Drive-In offers thorough responses to FAQs.
There's plenty of entertainment at Silver Creek Saloon & Grill: live bands perform throughout the week, and RedZone football games are broadcast on an oversize projector and nine flat-screen televisions. In the warmer months, visitors can play sports themselves, serving volleyballs across Silver Creek’s sandy court.
Lump crab cakes, steak sandwiches, and hand-breaded shrimp po’ boys are just a few of the snacks available to patrons who arrive hungry or who work up an appetite on the court. Bartenders mix cocktails and pour cold beers to slake thirsts indoors or on the outdoor patio. Groups of friends can also gather in the pub's private party room, which can be reserved without a fee.
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.
At each of Drunken Fish's upscale restaurants, chefs create traditional and specialty sushi, along with stir-frys and other Japanese entrees. Fresh tuna nigiri and 10 oz Teriyaki glazed strip steak make for tasty pairings with signature cocktails, such as the Madame Butterfly with raspberry vodka, mango puree, and pineapple juice. Drunken Fish has three convenient locations within St. Louis, each featuring modern decor.
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.
If you follow the right cobblestones on the Landing, you'll end up in front of Jake's Steaks, an eatery known for serving steaks, barbecue, and burgers within a T-bone's throw of Sidewinders Saloon. As the name implies, the focus is on steak. The culinary crew collects wet-aged Angus beef to create artistic interpretations of meat—cowboy rib eyes with perfect marbling, for instance, and Kansas City strip steaks topped with house butter. Their magnum opus is The Bull, a 25-ounce bone-in fillet that, if finished, earns the eater a spot on the Wall of Fame and a new accomplishment to include on their Viking resumé. The kitchen also churns out dry-rubbed barbecue ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches made from meat infused with flavors from the steak house's own round-the-clock smokers.
Jake's stands just in front of Sidewinders Saloon, a bar that dispenses a bevy of tequila and beer. Throughout the week, the bar hosts theme nights with live music and karaoke, and on select nights holds the doors open until 3 a.m. The building's close proximity to Busch Stadium and The Arch make it a prime spot for postgame celebrations or steak-tossing competitions on the banks of the Mississippi.