To help visitors navigate its staggering list of more than 200 international wines, Robust Wine Bar & Café implements the Robust Factor—a system that categorizes quaffs by aspects such as flavor profile strength, dryness or sweetness, and tannins. These bottles are then grouped into eight categories ranging from "bubbles" and "crisp" to "sweet," and yes, "robust." It's this attention to detail that's helped earn the European eatery accolades such as a Sauce Magazine Reader's Poll award for Favorite Wine Bar in 2012 and a pair of OpenTable Diner's Choice awards.
And yet Robust's owners realize that wine, much like an actor playing Spartacus, isn't always meant to stand alone. Each of the cafe's two St. Louis-area locations pairs its bottles with a spread of charcuterie and shareable plates. Artisan cheeses from the Midwest and the Mediterranean are served alongside morsels of Spanish chorizo and dry-aged, salt-cured beef. Meanwhile, chefs craft internationally inspired bites such as house-cured salmon semi-crudo, herbed pork tenderloin, and shrimp and grits. On some nights, glasses clink and forks scrape plates in tune with live music performances—one of the many types of events hosted at the neighborhood retreat.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
The multitalented team of instructors, which includes trainers certified in Agatsu Kettlebell and Commando Krav Maga, helps to strengthen hearts, bodies, and minds during self-defense, fitness, and fight courses. Instructors lead beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of kettlebell fitness, a class that incorporates fundamental swings, cleans, snatches, and Turkish getups to simultaneously work several muscle groups at once.
The team also helps to build endurance by leading participants through Latin dance steps in Zumba and through a tapestry of kicks and punches in cardio kickboxing. Additionally, trainers helm courses in krav maga, a form of martial arts designed to increase confidence, protection, and Bruce Lee comparisons. Following a functional warm-up, instructors run through drills to teach students how to escape from chokes and disarm an opponent using lighting-quick pressure and weakness-point attacks.
Brentwood Ice Rink invites locals and visitors alike to lace up their skates and log some laps around the arena's 85'x200' sheet of ice. The rink hosts a busy calendar of
events, including adult hockey leagues, stick-and-puck hockey games, and figure-skating practices, but also leaves time each day for open public skates. Novices seeking to advance their skills can also enroll in the rink's Learn to Skate program.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Our friendly and understanding instructors are professionals who will make you feel at home from the first moment you step in our door.
We remember how scary those first steps are and will make every lesson fun, exciting and full of growth!
Over 200 happy couples succeeded here in 2015!
What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans?
The most important thing to bring into your lessons is a smile!
Have fun and enjoy your time together as a couple!
Our wedding dance programs give you skill and confidence, but are a ton of fun and make great date nights!
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
To provide the metro St. Louis area with a fresh alternative for high quality and customized instruction in all forms of social dance.
Our vision is to make dancing fun for everyone, where everyone can succeed, regardless of their background!
What do you love most about your job?
We love working with couples - watching them take on a new and exciting challenge in their lives.
It's amazing watching people transform through the art of dance.
People gain confidence; couples grow closer; it's a beautiful thing!
Come enjoy yourself and dance the night away!