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Sep 02, 2014
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Babe's Has Unassuming Cool
By Steven Fitzpatrick Smith
Posted On: 02/03/2002   

There are some bars and pubs that don't need to jump with excitement. They cruise along, pretty much unchanging, with a comforting kind of hum, developed over the years.

That's what Babe's Tavern is like. It is now (and always has been) cool, without the need to flaunt it.

Babe's is an unassuming drinking establishment, tucked away in a row of storefront businesses in the Lindenwood area of Southwest City. (Epiphany Lanes, a bowling alley operated by a local Catholic church, is in the same area. That's the kind of quiet, neighborhood street it is.)

The classic, brick-faced facade beckons the drinker into a cozy space that's dominated by a wooden bar. The walls are brick, with real wood accents. A few large, wooden drinking tables make conversation easy, and their location near a terrific fireplace at the back of the room keeps that conversation warm and friendly.

Above the fireplace hangs a picture of a dog, the tavern's namesake, Babe.

The covered patio has almost an indoor feel, and with its year-round roof tent and heating, it can be enjoyed even during the winter months. Nearly as large as the bar itself, the patio is a comfortable place for private parties.

Downstairs is a small areačin a space that's really just an oversized hallway - there are game boards for dart aficionados.

At Babe's you'll find no (emphasis NO) inflated beer cans or decorative lizards of the kind used to promote the local southside brew. You will find a wide selection of beers and liquors, mostly displayed in plain sight. Beer is served in generous, handled mugs by barkeeps who are young, good looking and cool, without trying.

As for the music, well, it suits the place, providing a quiet background to conversation. And it's diverse, ranging from acid jazz to British guitar pop.

The bar and its clientele give the pub a European feel. The laid-back patrons fit the general easy atmosphere of Babe's perfectly. The crowd is made up of locals of all ages and backgrounds, folks who saunter in from the neighborhood for a nip. If you've been to Ireland, this bar will remind you of the pubs there. (In addition to being a magnet for locals, the pub is something of a fancy restaurant industry hangout. It also attracts a hipster element.)

Babe's is a good "first date" bar, with its stylish presentation, romantic fireplace and patio, but without the intensity, distractions and buzz that goes with the "on the edge" feel you find in some other, more self-consciously hip neighborhood places.

As for food, customers bring it in...often pies from the classic Pizza A Go-Go, a twice-relocated eatery that's a refugee of Gaslight Square. (A Go-Go is now located nearby, at the end of Ivanhoe street.)

On the whole, this bar is a good bet. But don't take my word for it. Cruise on by and see for yourself. Babe's will be cool and still cruising along.

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