The Ten Best 3 a.m. Bars in St. Louis

Categories: Best Of

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Diana Benanti
Inside at Lola.
Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories.

Not yet ready to call it a night when the clock whirs past 1:30 a.m.? Then head to one of these bars -- our rundown of the best places to be at 3 a.m. -- for one last round.

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Diana Benanti

Atomic Cowboy
(4140 Manchester Avenue; 314-775-0755)

Anything and everything goes at Atomic Cowboy. It's the St. Louis version of the Tower of Babel -- these people might not be speaking the same proverbial language, but they're all here for a good time. You'll find some of the city's preeminent DJs, jam bands, burlesque troupes, indie bands or hip-hop showcases at Atomic and in the black-as-pitch venue inside, aptly named the Fox Hole. With housemade vodka infusions lining the bar, you can sip in style or slam vodka Red Bulls till the house lights come up. Too crowded inside? Head to the spacious patio and outdoor bar to spread out by the fire or simply imbibe al fresco.


Mike Talayna's Juke Box Restaurant
(1115 Hampton Avenue; 314-647-7600)

You have needs, we all do, and sometimes they can only be alleviated by public embarrassment in a place that looks like RuPaul's sex lair. The blah exterior contradicts the mirrored entrails of Mike Talayna's Jukebox, where karaoke is king and the ceiling is lined with disco balls. This karaoke hall is a see-and-be-seen hot spot, and not even the stench of a few million spilt beers can diminish its renown. While nothing beats hearing an Adele ballad crooned by the drunkest girl west of the Mississippi, half the fun of posting up at Talayna's is in observing the ebb and flow of humanity within its glittery grips.

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Diana Benanti
Handlebar(4127 Manchester Avenue; 314-652-2212)

Handlebar, the eco-friendly watering hole is on a mission: sustainability, increasing bike traffic on the Manchester strip, supporting local indie craft brewers and artisans, and having a damn good time doing it. Located in the old Church Key/Bar 5 location, it's luckily not entirely a hangout for imperious bike elitists with their weird shoes and their healthiness (we're just jealous). It's just a damn fine place for a drink. With kinetic bike art on the walls and stellar murals by local artists, HandleBar is a unique, fun addition to the well-established block. Be on the lookout for all things local: new pieces by artists, DJs powering the small dance floor, and the newest brews from our city's suds masters.

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Diana Benanti
Novak's Bar & Grill (4121 Manchester Avenue; 531-3699)

When it comes to late night in the Grove, bars can be hit or miss, but Novak's is always a hit. Credited with starting the pansexual renaissance on that stretch of Manchester, Novak's is the gay bar of choice among those in the know. There's always something to entertain here -- amateur drag-king and -queen shows, DJs, karaoke, and let's not forget the people watching -- this is where the fabulous congregate, in sky-high platforms and snazzy sneakers alike. Dare we say, it's impossible not to have a gay old time at Novak's.

Sandrina's (5098 Arsenal Street; 314-601-3456)

Picking a 3 a.m. can be a tough prospect when you're with a group and already spifflicated. But Sandy's is easy--the drinks are cheap, there's shuffleboard downstairs and pool upstairs, there are booths for the weary and plenty of standing room for the amped. It's also our favorite place for a late night nosh because their kitchen is open until 2 a.m.--those Panko breaded chicken fingers will cure what ails you.


Location Info

Atomic Cowboy

4140 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Mike Talayna's Juke Box Restaurant

1115 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

HandleBar

4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Novak's Bar & Grill - CLOSED

4121 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Sandrina's

5098 Arsenal St, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Jack Patrick's Bar & Grill

1000 Olive St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

DB's Sports Bar

1615 S. Broadway, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Mangia Italiano

3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Pin-Up Bowl

6191 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

O'Connell's Pub

4652 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


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14 comments
Andrewhecht
Andrewhecht

No Trophy Room? They are the definition of a good 3 o'clock bar: cheap, smoking allowed, weirdos, nothing good that occurs after midnight, easy to blackout, hoosier

Lincoln
Lincoln

Time Out on Gravois.  One of the few refuges for a smoker.

STLreview
STLreview

Not a single Washington Avenue bar made this list?  The author may be a bit too old to appreciate these, but this is where the under 30 crowd hang on weekend late-nights.

boscotron
boscotron

Sandrina's is great. Good food and atmosphere. Not where I would go at 3am, however.

anonymous
anonymous

Sandrina's is a horrible.  The owners and most of the bartenders are very rude.  The food is substandard.  The upstairs pool room closes early.

Erirfeiuer
Erirfeiuer

only try this list if you can stomach a heavy hipster presence

Nancy
Nancy

Thank you!!!

Xander Lovecraft
Xander Lovecraft

No Crack Fox? No Jade Room? What gives, RFT? Who gave you a Funectomy?

crackfoxbar.com
crackfoxbar.com

I think the RFT overlooked including Crack Fox. It's not only smoking but one of the most diverse clubs in town.

Mark The Shark
Mark The Shark

You forgot about the pool table and hot bartenders

Eric
Eric

You're on drugs, Washington Avenue has been for squares for 5+ years now

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