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Located on Arsenal Street, one block east of Grand Boulevard, Riley's Pub features St. Louis-style pizza served piping hot in a corner-bar atmosphere in south city. There are no DJs, dress code or gimmicks, just drinks and a jukebox. The interior is old-school: In its dim, high-backed booths, you'll feel equally comfortable sharing a Guinness with an intimate group of friends or penning your first novel while knocking back shots of Jameson. Daily food and drink specials are written on a big chalkboard above the large, dark wooden bar, and Riley's has live Irish music weekly and $5 St. Louis-style pizzas on Monday and Tuesdays. Riley's is closed on Sundays but does keep serving the pies until late in the evening on other nights. It offers carry out as well.
Gut Check's call for nominations for St. Louis' most underrated pizza prompted a flood of suggestions. Using a patented and utterly arbitrary system, we narrowed these down to a field of seven semifin... More »
It was a long time coming, that's for damned sure. The bar at the intersection of Arkansas and Arsenal sat tauntingly vacant for at least four years. The fresh awning advertised "Riley's," and a neon Guinness sign teased us each time we passed it... More »
Riley's Pub, located just a block east of the hustle of the South Grand strip, is nominally an Irish bar, as the well-poured Guinness and regular Irish folk sessions should make clear. So it's not exactly a shock that the pub's 100-disc jukebox has a double dose of Pogues for your pint-raising pleasure (and, trust us, rabble is roused so much easier when "Streams of Whiskey" is blaring). But the selections go deeper than that, offering an appropriate soundtrack for all those barroom moods.... More »
Choosing the best neighborhood bar in the city is sort of like picking the cutest puppy in a basketful of golden retrievers. Not. Easy. That's because, to the delight of city dwellers and the despair of their livers, there are so many great bars in so many great neighborhoods. Cozy taverns tucked into brick buildings, elegant wine bars anchoring nightlife districts, beer-and-whiskey dives popping up in between fancy restaurants -- which to choose? This year we've spun the wheel and... More »
The music biz has become as homogenized as the dairy industry. Nowhere is this fact more evident than at bars where satellite radio and Internet-wired "jukeboxes" promise patrons a virtually unlimited selection of songs but deliver little more than the Top 40 tripe served up from here to Tuscaloosa. Used to be that a jukebox reflected the musical leanings of a bar's regulars and its proprietor. You had roughly a few hundred selections, and if you didn't like it, you could either save your... More »
Choosing the best neighborhood bar in the city is sort of like picking the cutest puppy in a basketful of golden retrievers. Not. Easy. That's because, to the delight of city dwellers and the despair of their livers, there are so many great bars in so many great neighborhoods. Cozy taverns tucked into brick buildings, elegant wine bars anchoring nightlife districts, beer-and-whiskey dives popping up in between fancy restaurants — which to choose? This year we've spun the wheel and landed on Riley's, in Tower Grove East. Maybe there's something deeply psychological about that: In a year when everything seems complicated, from weather patterns to Olympic controversies to seemingly interminable political races, it's nice to have a thoroughly uncomplicated neighborhood hangout. Of course, we don't really need to wax philosophical to plumb our love for Riley's. It's a tavern in the truest sense of the word, all dark wood and low light and friendly conversation. The beer is cold and cheap, and the bottle selection is more extensive than that at other neighborhood joints. Plus, Riley's is at a remove from the bustling South Grand district; a few blocks east of the busy boulevard, it offers a convivial respite to neighbors and strangers alike.
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