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Aug 28, 2014
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Nectar, Where the Red Light is Always On
By Sean Hixson and Julie Lay - Photo by Brandon Voges
Posted On: 10/03/2005   


It took me four tries to get into Nectar. Attempt one imploded when a small sign blocked the door, announcing a temporary closing because of a kitchen fire. Odd, I thought. Nectar only serves desserts.

Attempt two imploded when my group was denied entry because a friend was wearing tennis shoes. One of the four indifferent, black-clad Nectar doormen behind the velvet rope informed us they were “trying to keep it upscale.” By no means was my friend dressed unstylishly, but, apparently, unless you’re a St. Louis celebrity wearing a straight-billed trucker cap and a track suit, you can’t come inside in sneakers.

Attempt three imploded when I couldn’t meet my friends at Nectar because, once again, they were denied entry. Dress code had nothing to do with it this time. “Too crowded” was the excuse, but the lack of line was fishy.

Normally, this would have killed the deal altogether. Would you go back to a bar after three previous failed attempts? Ahhh, but duty called.

Finally, on attempt four, I got in. Ten dollar cover. Crash. Nectar explodes with a rusty glow from amber-shaded lamps and lighting that emanates from the many spaces and angles of the room. A slender, two-sided, almond-shaped bar splits the floor. Two small, plush, U-shaped alcoves frame the front door, and an elevated disc jockey and private-table quasi-balcony anchors the rear. Because of this great lighting and interior design, lounge ambiance is top-notch.

I bellied up to the bar just after 11 p.m. The alcoves and quasi-balcony were full. The floor was empty. The DJ was playing freaking Twisted Sister. Just after midnight, I moved to the wall and watched the tide roll in. Now, top-40 hip-hop bumped. By 12:15 a.m., it was crowded. I was sick of standing and wished there were some chairs. If you’re stuck on the floor, there is nothing to do but stand and get bombarded by the sea of people. By 1 a.m., it was a supreme hassle to get to the bar to get a drink.

At the bar, comely, friendly bartenders mixed cocktails off the drink menu – mostly expensive vodka with overly sweet, but freshly squeezed, juices. Service is superb, and if you’re tipsy, seemingly flirtatious. Many times Jaeger Bombs and Lemon Drops were mixed for early-20s birthday groups. Early to mid-20s seemed a common, but not dominant, age for the gals. Guys seemed older; I had no problem mingling. Most patrons were good-looking and as friendly as the bartenders – well, if you could actually wedge your way between bodies to face the person you wanted to talk to.

Ignore my description, though. The fact it took me four trips to gain entry says more about Nectar than anything I can. The unwarranted pretentious nuisance of getting inside is nothing but a “premiere cocktail lounge and private space” being itself. Touché Nectar.

The straight 411 …
The uninviting exterior of this über-hip lounge is balanced well with an inviting, sleekly designed – albeit overly crowded – interior.


If St. Louis had a red-light district it
would probably be located somewhere inside of the Nectar Lounge. Low seating, high ceilings and a dark and sultry crimson glow envelop this new hot spot to make it sizzle. Lush curtains cover the large windows, assuring the only light inside is provided by large, lantern-like lights that hang from the ceiling, dousing the club in a seedy scarlet hue. Pulsating house music keeps the vibe flowing without being too loud or monotonous.

The dress is somewhat casual for a club environment. You will see everything from cocktail ensembles to khakis and a T-shirt. High heels paired with jeans and a sexy top (the new bar uniform) will be safe. Staying away from clothing you feel would be too casual to wear to a cocktail party will definitely get you on the best-dressed list.

Nectar’s large bar – accessible from all sides – provides the center stage. Young, hip 25- to 30-somethings circulate freely around the bar. There is nary a stool to be found around the gargantuan bar that engulfs about half of the entire lounge. Nectar is designed to promote fluidity and keep things alive and moving. Ladies, this is the perfect place to break out those hot, tight and sexy standing-room-only pants.

If you feel the need to have your own little nook, there are plenty of sultry corners to perch you, your pals and your pants. Don’t be alarmed that all of these areas are marked as reserved. They are reserved for bottle service, which means if you buy a bottle of hard liquor, you get service and a snazzy place to park your posse. Bottle service at Nectar includes a custom-carved icebox for the bottle of your choice, attentive service and a large array of included mixers such as fresh peach nectar or Red Bull.

There are a few seating areas here and there not designated for bottle service. A friend and I managed to snag one of these precious seats by the bar and had a fab place to see and be seen for the night without ponying up the cash for an entire bottle. Early entrance will surely land you one of these prime locations. Ladies also get in free before 11 p.m., so try to head out a little early to beat the cover.

The straight 411 …
To party like a VIP and catch a view of some of appetizing hotties, call ahead and request bottle service at Nectar– and tell Roxanne to keep the red light burning.

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