Review: Mosaic Lounge in St. Louis

Welcome, my friends, to the cougar den. When Mosaic Lounge opened on Washington Avenue this summer, it almost immediately gained an enthusiastic and loyal following of urban socialites, cocktail enthusiasts, club-hoppers – and cougars. I’m not kidding when I say that, as a relatively young man, I was lucky to escape this place without some serious scratch marks: Glammed-up ladies in their 40s sip drinks and nibble on cocktail straws while aggressively eying the room for loose prey. Mingling with them are a few men in their late 30s and early 40s wearing designer trucker hats and ringer T-shirts, doing their best to act 10 years younger. (A little tip: A receding hairline and frosted tips make for a bad combo.)

That said, it’s impossible to deny that the lounge is a great people-watching spot that plays host to a friendly, eccentric and eclectic late-night crowd ready to take things to the next level.

Service is excellent both at a table and behind the bar – the booze is flowing. Behind the massive bar, a crew of ’tenders dart back and forth, topping off cocktail shakers, reaching for high-end bottles and pulling pints of Stella and Blue Moon for the eager crowd. The draft menu is pretty standard; a better option would be to try one of the signature cocktails like the Inside Out Bloody Mary, a mixture of frozen cubes of horseradish with Bloody Mary seasoning floating in a sea of Absolut Peppar. Refrain from ordering the Ian Fleming Martini, an amber-colored monster that unsuccessfully mixes Tanqueray gin with Stolichnaya vodka and a splash of Lillet Blanc. A struggle to finish, it was, hands down, the worst $8.50 I’ve ever spent for a drink. Smarter to stick to the Belvedere-infused Naked Martini for the extra $1.50.

The décor, much like the food and drink, is a fusion of different elements. Subtle blue lights mix with the flickering images from a number of oversized flat-screens that cling to the back wall. Above the bar, an imposing wall of bronze-colored tin tiling throws golden light onto the dark granite bar. Towards the back are several crescent-shaped, high-backed booths packed with trendy urbanites enjoying bottle service. The best spot, by far, is up front on the long couch straddling the window onto Washington Avenue. The lounge is sleek and new, but “the ultimate in luxury” (as management has chosen to advertise it) Mosaic is not.

Yet the vibe is infectious. Sure, the crowd is a little older and a lot nuttier. Sure, the music choice is obnoxious – reverberating remixes of ’80s pop songs that are better left alone. Still, for all its innocuous tunes and all its quirky characters, Mosaic Lounge has achieved an inviting atmosphere, a distinct charm and, for this writer, a smooth little buzz.

Check it: Trendy after-hours club with a European look and quirky vibes.         
Hipster or Hoosier: Chic downtown socialites, cougars and well-dressed professionals.
Suds or ’Tinis: Grab a signature cocktail: Pink Knickers or Watermelon & Basil Martini.
Where: Mosaic Lounge, 1001 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.6001
When: Mon. to Fri. – 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., Sat. – 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Tags : Cocktails, Places, Reviews, Bars