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Jul 5, 2008 04:56 PM

Somewhat casual, but soulful experience in St. Louis?

Okay, so I'm not sure if we're going to make it to one of the nicer restaurants while we're in St. Louis. I just don't want to rush it before we go to the Gladys and Al concert. I think we will for sure get to Veruca, so I'll at least get to experience part of Niche. Anyway, I'm obsessing over where to go before the concert on Sunday at the Fox Theatre. I've been waiting my whole life to see Gladys Knight in concert (I've already seen Al once) and I want the dinner to be part of the full experience. So, is there a place that's casual or semi-casual, but still has a little bit of jazzy soul going on? (I hope that makes sense!) Thanks for your all your help! Can't wait!

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  1. Katie, many of us 'Hounds would love to uphold our midwestern reputation of friendliness and hospitality by being able to help you. Sundays can be tough in St. Louis -- lots of places are closed. And I gotta be honest with you -- while there are some tasty and funky BBQ or soul places on the north side of the city, some of those areas can get real bad real fast so you aren't going to want to just be wandering around there. It will help if you can post the area you are staying in or coming from before the concert. For example, if you are staying in Clayton or coming from the west side, I'd have you stop in for some simple bar food on the way east to the Fox at Blueberry Hill. Near the Loop and Washington Univ., it is a large casual bar scene with good burgers and sandwiches. And to put you in the mood for the show, it has TONS of rock and roll memorabilia everywhere, especially saluting our native Chuck Berry. If you are staying downtown, there are a number of restaurants on Washington in a regentrified area. If you are staying in the Central West End, there is a current thread just a bit below this one about choices in that area, which is not too far from the general area of the Fox. My mom and other family members attend the Fox a lot -- I can also ask them for recommendations when they go to shows there.

    1. Yeah, I figured Sundays would be tough- they are in KC too. We're staying at the Roberts Mayfair Wyndham Hotel- I believe that's considered downtown? Thanks for any help!

      The Roberts Mayfair - A Wyndham Historic Hotel
      806 Saint Charles Street, St Louis, MO

      4 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        Katie, That hotel is just a block off of that Washington area I mentioned above. In just three or four blocks right near there, you will find a number of relatively new and hot restaurants and bars, in a strip that over a couple of decades has gone from industrial warehouse to empty to new lofts. The City Museum (which many refer to as the Children's Museum) is right there too. Two notable restaurants in that strip are An American Place, which can be perhaps the most expensive tasting chef's special menu in the city but also has a very reasonable three or four-course price fixed option, and Mosaic, which is a trendy tapas small-plates restaurant. Unfortunately, both closed on Sunday. You might want to check out the Lucas Park Grille, which is very airy and pretty in a remodeled bank building and was the site of a successful family brunch occasion recently. They are open on Sunday, and while dinner entrees are pricey their lunches and starters are quite reasonable. I'd ask how late you can still buy lunch. Either as you drive to your hotel or after you check in, observe that stretch of Washington and you'll also find a gastropub that should be open, I seem to recall a sushi place, and there are others as well.

        While you might assume St. Louis would have great BBQ, I've yet to find it, and it certainly would not merit a destination coming from KC. There are a lot of live music venues along the riverfront which is not far away, and while they usually start the entertainment much later it may be possible to find some on a late Sunday afternoon. Might be a good idea to just scan as many old pages on this board for StL threads as possible. The archives of the local newspaper can be accessed at and the St. Louis food magazine is

        1. re: nosh

          Katie, I'm sorry I personally can't oblige your dinner request, but my restaurant is closed on Sunday even though it's close to where you are staying.

          So, here's my recommendation for soulful food to get you in the mood for your killer concert. Sweetie Pie's in the Grove. It's a meat and three place where you have cafeteria service. I'm from the south, and I love eating there and especially on Sunday because they have greens. I don't care for the candied yams, but that's because I don't like that much clove...everything else rocks from the black-eyed peas to the turkey wings. Here's a link to a review:

          Sweetie Pie's is fairly close to the Fox, so it would be my first recommendation. The rest of the Sunday offerings is difficult to maneuver. Niche is open on Sundays, and maybe you could regale yourself in an early dinner and then you'd get the best of both food and music. Nowhere near the same category is Lemp Mansion that serves a family style skillet fried chicken dinner with all the sides for $16 (I believe, but don't hold me to it). Speaking of fried chicken, Andy White at Off the Vine has a Sunday special of fried chicken plus all of his regular menu hits.

          Good luck!

          1. re: jpg

            Thank you both for your recommendations. Sweetie Pie sounds like it might be the most fun- I think Gladys would approve! I'll be sure to report back! Thanks again!

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Agree with the Sweetie Pie's recommendation.

      2. OK, maybe I've been wrong about the BBQ. Been doing some restaurant research for my own upcoming trip into town, and discovered a place that is getting universal positive reviews from the Post-Dispatch, Sauce, and Riverfront Times:

        Joe Bonwich of the Post seems to be a particular fan. If I'm not mistaken, they are very close to the Fox. A couple of the reviews warn to call before going -- they tend to close early when they run out of meat. I do have a vague memory of some feedback on Chowhound awhile back...

        1 Reply
        1. re: nosh

          nosh - you weren't completely off on STL BBQ as the best is found on the edge of a parking lot with no posted hours.

          years ago London and Sons Wing House had killer gizzards and gravy at Grand and MLK near Page. ultra casual is an understatement. but if it's still as good...

          is the Q King on K'Hwy no longer?

        2. sweetie pie's is perfect for the gladys show. The owner of sweetie pie's was one of the ikettes ( as in ike and tina)