platypus in the grove photo by carmen troesser

10 reasons we love Platypus​ in the Grove

Veteran bartenders Tony Saputo and Meredith Barry opened Platypus in the Grove in late 2021, but the cocktail-dive bar hybrid feels like the kind of well-loved neighborhood joint you’ve been visiting for years. Here are 10 reasons we keep coming back.

blue julius frozen cocktail // photo by christina musgrave

1. Platypus offers five house cocktails that rotate frequently – sometimes even daily. Whether you’re trying a take on a classic Negroni with barrel-aged gin, a daiquiri with chocolate bitters garnished with a granola bar, or a savory concoction with crab butter (yes, really), picking a new surprise off their chalkboard is half the fun.

2. In a post-Covid world, we’re hard-pressed to find reliable eats in this town open past 10 p.m. Eat Duckbill, the food counter at Platypus, is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

fried tofu nuggets and chooch's popcorn chicken from eat duckbill // photo by christina musgraves

3. There’s kind of a choose-your-own-adventure vibe at Platypus, with a lively front bar area, a laid-back lounging room in the middle, a back dining room that transforms into an event space as needed, and a chill back patio. Our favorite spot is in one of two cozy booths in the middle room. It’s close enough to keep an eye on all the action while still tucking into a more private, quiet experience.

4. While there’s always a respectable roster of craft beers on tap, nothing hits the spot quite like a big, frosty mug straight out of the freezer filled to the brim with foamy Busch.

from left, owner of eat duckbill grant heman, and co-owners of platypus tony saputo and meredith barry // photo by michelle volansky

5. Pinball enthusiasts will be delighted to hit the two cabinets that regularly get switched out in the lounge room. There’s also a classic Ms. Pac-Man for good measure.

6. Eat Duckbill is a refuge for vegan bar food lovers. Shatteringly crisp, fried tofu nuggets are irresistible with hints of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and ginger. Their perfectly seasoned fries are some of our favorites in town, especially dipped in housemade ranch dressing (sorry, vegans). Even the spicy roasted cauliflower and tangy Brussels sprouts are top notch. Pro tip: Order a side-by-side of both veggies together for the perfect spicy-sweet combo.

french fries and brussels sprouts from eat duckbill // photo by christina musgraves

7. The wall behind the bar displays a stunning platypus mural by Jason Spencer of Killer Napkins that pays tribute to Brian “Shagy” Kennedy, a late friend of Saputo’s.

8. Our eyes always light up when we clock a frozen drink machine behind a bar. In addition to the rotating cocktails, there’s always something new and exciting spinning in the barrel, from takes on margaritas to espresso martinis and piña coladas.

frozen cocktails from platypus // photo by carmen troesser

9. The signature item at Eat Duckbill is Chooch’s Gourmet Popcorn Chicken, named for owner Grant Heman’s daughter. Crunchy and juicy, they’re irresistible dunked into any of the five dipping sauces – barbecue, sweet chile, Buffalo, agave-mustard or ranch.

10. There’s always something fun going on, from karaoke and open mic comedy to Izumi hosting Japanese street food pop-ups on the patio. DJs and live music are weekly constants. Follow Platypus on Instagram to stay up to date on the diverse schedule.

a little chili punch made with clarified milk from platypus // photo by christina musgraves

4501 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.448.1622,