Review: The Over/Under Bar & Grill in St. Louis

There’s a lot to be said for a bar that’s versatile enough to accommodate a casual night out with friends, a first date and even a bachelor party. Over the past month I’ve been out on all three of these occasions on the slick patio of Over/Under Bar & Grill, Washington Avenue’s newest drinkery. And though I normally shun the bright lights and packed clubs of the downtown strip, this is one bar that I’m eager to get back to.

Washington has been in dire need of a new patio bar for some time, and Over/Under fills the void perfectly. This is a sports bar in disguise. Or maybe a flirty new singles bar. It’s really the best of both: a sports bar for people who hate sports bars. Trust me, your girlfriend will love it. No girlfriend? There’s most probably a crew of cute girls inside waiting for you to chat them up. Order them a round. Trust me, they’ll love it.

There are several distinct faces to Over/Under. Out on the patio, the wait staff wades through a light crowd of casually dressed 20- and 30-somethings lounging around a collection of tables and high tops, a Cards game projected on a side wall in the background. To the side, an enormous open window reveals the main bar – a gorgeous wood-topped number with red lights illuminating the floorboards. The inside is hardly what you’d expect from a sports bar: Contemporary décor abounds in this high-end saloon. Smart-looking leather booths, each with a duo of small, private flat screens, line the walls of the main room. In the back, a lounge area with black leather club chairs and spacious couches is surrounded with large but surprisingly not obnoxious LCD TVs. Here and there you’ll spot a column or fireplace adorned with sleek green mosaic tiles.

The crowd is young and definitely eclectic. On the patio (where you’ll want to spend most of your time while the weather holds up), couples and groups of friends share laughs and cigarettes while downing oversized glasses of pilsner and the odd shot or two, or 12. Moving inside, well-dressed trios of girlfriends hover over martinis and appetizer plates, looking up occasionally to check out whoever walks by. Dress code is all over the place – wear a suit, wear a dress, wear flip flops, wear cargo pants, pop your collar (actually, please don’t). Though I’d advise wearing something decent – there are a lot of good-looking people crawling around the place. Dress accordingly.

The only complaint I have is the bar service, which can be a serious pain on a weekend night when the traffic lanes to the bar start to clog up. I’d recommend getting a seat. The wait staff is agile and well-informed. Draft prices are a bit high, but again you’re paying for a nice atmosphere and a nifty-looking glass. Go ahead and order the large. Take your pick from Bud, Boulevard, Blue Moon, Stella Artois, Smithwicks, Guinness and others. As for spirits, there’s really no end in sight; all the high-end and call brand favorites are available, along with a solid selection of wines by the glass and bottle.

Check it:  37 flat screens and an oversized projector on the patio.          
Hipster or Hoosier: Cool kids with designer labels mingle with friends in Cards jerseys.
Suds or ‘Tinis: Grab an oversized pilsner draft for yourself and a chic, well-mixed cocktail for your special lady. 
Where: The Over/Under Bar & Grill, 911 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.8881
When: Mon. to Fri. – 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sat. – 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sun. – 10 a.m. to midnight

Tags : Places, Reviews, Bars