No one would argue that St. Louis has a nightlife that’s equal to New York or L.A., but sometimes we tend to overlook some of the great (and even award-winning) options that are right around the corner. We’re putting these hot spots on our list!
Recently honored as one of the Top 50 Late Night Finds in the country by Open Table, Lola serves up food until 2 a.m. on weekends, with the bar open until 3 a.m.; and until midnight on weeknights when there is a concert or other event—which is most nights, says owner Chris Hansen. “Our late night culture is composed of entertainment, cocktailing and dining in a really diverse atmosphere—and with a diverse clientele, for that matter,” he notes. “It’s a downtown, urban area. You can go there for brunch on Saturday morning at 9:30, dinner that evening, have cocktails with friends before a concert that might begin at 7, and at 10 another room opens up with dancing and DJs. We’re a one-shop-stop when it comes to going out.”
Hansen says Lola is focused on the concept of bringing together music, food and drinks. Dishes range from quirky French-inspired meals to Creole, and the Chicken & Waffles are served around the clock. And if you’re in the mood for cocktails, mixologist Matt McMullin serves up a list of more than 100 drinks that range from old-fashioned cocktails to absinthe martinis and Champagne cocktails.
Sanctuaria (Wild) Tapas
Also honored as one of Open Table’s Late Night Finds, Sanctuaria offers a late night happy hour on weekends that includes eight tapas items at half-off between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. “We get busier every weekend. People are looking for someplace that’s not fast food, that’s open at that hour,” says general manager Virginia Miller. “Everything is prepared fresh, all of the items are hand-prepped and we use local items as much as possible.”
The atmosphere is laid back, and parties range from couples on a first date to bachelorette parties, Miller says. “The bar is open until 3 a.m., so we get a lot of industry people whose bars close at 1 a.m. Our crowd is not one specific group of people; it’s anyone from age 21 to 50 or 60,” she adds. “We have a lot of fun, and my bartenders are always good for conversation.” Speaking of cocktails, Sanctuaria offers 150 of them and was named a finalist in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirits Awards’ World’s Best Cocktail Menu category.
Expanding on its popularity with the mainstream dining crowd, P.F. Chang’s at The Boulevard recently added extended hours and a new late night menu, manager Curt Cavender says. The restaurant is open until 11 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. The late night menu features dim sum—traditional Chinese street food. “I’ve been with P.F. Chang’s for nine years, and as far as the food rollout, this is definitely my favorite,” Cavender says.
Dishes include Asian street tacos with beef, spicy shrimp, pork or mahi-mahi; as well as a variety of dumplings; and cocktails, with new offerings like a coconut lemon sour and Asian pear mojito, Cavender says.
Diners, keep in mind that the late night happy hour is available in the bar and on the patio only; the earlier happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. is in the dining room as well.