Don't Tell Me MeFites Are Dining Anywhere But There
posted June 4, 2013 1:14 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sun June 16 at 7:00 PM, Handlebar
4127 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, MO, USA (Map & Directions)
I'm visiting Saint Louis and have no plans for dinner on Sunday, June 16th. I'm hoping you can help me with that, maybe around 7pm? *crosses fingers*
Based on feedback from locals (and eventual deference to notsnot) , we'll meet at Handlebar. I look forward to meeting you St. Louisians or whatever collective noun you are.
posted by maryr to Meetup (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

If you are driving down Delmar and getting close to Blueberry Hill, you'll find a very large parking area off of a side street called Leland. It goes right between a Starbucks and Fitz's if you are trying to find it on a map. Blueberry Hill is super close to this parking area. There is also on-street parking as well on both sides of Delmar. It's metered but that doesn't apply to Sundays.

I visit Delmar a lot to go to Vintage Vinyl and the Tivoli, but I've only ever eaten at Blueberry Hill once, and that was before I moved here. I think I had a burger and it was pretty decent.
posted by blixapuff at 12:56 AM on June 5, 2013

Welcome to St. Louis!

So: I worked at Blueberry Hill for three years, and my wife was GM for ten years. THIS IS FINALLY A THREAD I AM QUALIFIED TO COMMENT IN. I'd normally say that Blueberry is a bad place for a meetup if you don't know how many people are going to show, but Sunday night should be okay. The Dart Room has three large tables that could be commandeered if they're not occupied. Worst case, there is plenty of hanging-out space at the dart rails.

Other good options: Urban Chestnut has a big freeform outdoor seating area, and Handlebar has space, good beer, and Russian snacks.
posted by droob at 4:41 AM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

It isn't the traditional St. Louis meetup location (that would be The Royale, if approximately three times counts as tradition), but I don't think you'd get any objections. Since the smoking ban the air is considerably more breathable, too.

In addition to the parking blixapuff mentioned there's a smallish parking garage on Delmar that is also close to Blueberry Hill. I think it costs money even on Sundays, but it's an option if for some reason everything else seems full. The public parking lot off of Leland can get pretty crowded sometimes.
posted by jedicus at 5:39 AM on June 5, 2013

I would not worry about parking off Leland Avenue/Loop North on a Sunday night; parking spots are usually pretty plentiful then, and if for some reason they aren't, you have several other nearby options (including street parking in my neighborhood, right off Loop North, if need be). And it would be nice to have a meetup closer to the middle of the St. Louis area; most of our other meetups have been in South City, which is cool, but, well, I live a block from Blueberry Hill, so...yeah. If we have a meetup on the Loop, you can definitely count me in!
posted by limeonaire at 7:00 AM on June 5, 2013

Oh, and re: the food, yeah, from a hickory burger and fries to the the Gentry (soup and grilled cheese), you definitely have some tasty options.
posted by limeonaire at 7:09 AM on June 5, 2013

Blueberry Hill is a great option - although someone should get there in advance and grab a table. Food is excellent there.

I live in St. Louis and might be interested in attending.

No problem to park - street parking and a big lot across the street. Email me if you want other options for locations.
posted by kdern at 8:45 AM on June 5, 2013

I've been to meetups at the Royale and at Black Thorn that went well. Count me among those who aren't feeling Blueberry Hill -- not conducive to fitting a variable group size, and is just kind of a wack place overall unless you like inane baby boomer nostalgia horseshit.

I second the nomination for Handlebar, which works really well also, and has reconfigurable outdoor seating that could accommodate 4 or 14 people with minimal fuss. Cheap drinks, too. Kind of packed, lately, on weekends, though... so it would depend on the day.

Would this be something anyone is interested in? I say we get our ducks in line and decide the place, before this gets too amorphous. Someone page notsnot, he's done a very good (and thoughtful, and benevolent, and fun) job of organizing these things in the past.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:00 AM on June 5, 2013

Per the OP, we would be doing this on a Sunday, jjjjjjjijjjjjjj—are Sundays a packed day at HandleBar? In general, I've found it pretty easy to find a table, even for a group that may change size, at Blueberry Hill on a Sunday.

Otherwise, if it becomes the consensus that this meetup will be down south again, in the future can we consider having a meetup that's in a more central location, or even farther north or west? That would be my pony request for future St. Louis meetups!
posted by limeonaire at 11:07 AM on June 5, 2013

I'm perfectly happy with another location, as long as it's driveable (which means parkable). (I'm visiting from Boston, where most things are neither.) FWIW, Royale and Urban Chestnut look particularly interesting to me from a glance at their websites. But seriously, I'm more than happy for you guys to choose the restaurant since you know the city.

Additional information on my part: I'll be coming from the airport (dropping off friends), I do not have a GPS, but I'm pretty sensible about directions and will print stuff out before heading out there, and I'll probably get a hotel either back by the Arch (which is where I'm staying Fri-Sat for a wedding) or nearish to wherever we end up eating. If you happen to know a hidden gem hotel, please do recommend, otherwise I'm just going via Mystery Hotel in whatever neighborhood on Hotwire.
posted by maryr at 2:57 PM on June 5, 2013

Urban Chestnut would be cool; it's more central, we haven't had a meetup there before, and when I've tried its beers at other restaurants, I've enjoyed them. Re: hotels, if we did meet up there, Hotel Ignacio is just a few blocks away and apparently really cool; it's a little boutique hotel owned by Saint Louis University.
posted by limeonaire at 3:32 PM on June 5, 2013

Ok, I'm finally checking in. Blueberry Hill can be fun, but there's like *one* table that can be used for larger groups. Urban Chestnut really does have a nice space, although their food items tend toward things-that-go-with-high-end-beer - and it's great beer. The Royale has a full menu and a surprisingly deep (for the size) set of tap handles. Unfortunately, many of the other microbrews (civil life and perennial) aren't open on Sundays or I'd recommend them.

There really isn't any problem parking most places in St. Louis, especially on a Sunday.

Since I'm only vaguely employed (I work at my brother-in-law's shop), I can call, set up, whatever. I'm also good at directions if anyone needs them to where-ever we decide.

If we're looking for something a bit different, I'd say UC or Handlebar. And Limonaire, if you need a ride, we can come get you.

Also if we decide on UC, there's the option for more substantial food nearby at the Fountain on Locust, which has some of the best ice cream I've ever tasted, accompanied by a bunch of full meal fare.

(frankly, I wish we'd have more meetups, if only for a reason to hit new places, but I'm really not an extrovert - despite evidence to the contrary - and was hoping someone else would organize more things)
posted by notsnot at 6:21 PM on June 5, 2013

...are Sundays a packed day at HandleBar?
Nah. Pretty chill. Highlight of the night is waiting for the Wolfpack Hustle kids to come back from their group ride (11pm-ish). That usually includes me, but I'd gladly skip it for a meetup.

I feel the "branch out" idea vis-a-vis site selection, but south side locations were arrived at out of a sort of realpolitik necessity. I'm not seeing it as particularly likely that many of the core group would go North (even as I think we should... let's be honest and say that they really won't), and going West is hard for people without cars -- and people that live towards the West generally own cars, because of where they live.

So we're left with the dirty South Side, for good or for ill. And there's no shame in that. One man's opinion; so please don't feel the need to plan around me... I'll be ok in any case.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 6:33 PM on June 5, 2013

I'm down with whatever. Urban Chestnut, HandleBar, and the Royale are all fine. The only issue for me is whether I'll be back in St. Louis in time that day, but I should be.
posted by jedicus at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2013

I nominate Kid Charlemagne for the tiebreaker, deciding vote, what have you. And thank you, notsnot, for the offer of a ride! I'm mostly cool driving these days without ending up in construction sites, but I do appreciate it! If need be, I'll probably just make k1mothy drive me around. ; )

Heh. One way or another, I guess this is pretty much a car city (though I've personally witnessed lizarrd getting to a meetup by bike, so I know it's doable). In general, I just feel like it'd be cool to branch out a little; having grown up in North County and living in U. City now, I've definitely enjoyed getting to know the South Side (and all of you guys who live there!) better through meetups, but maybe as a group it'd be good to explore a bit, too. No big deal either way!
posted by limeonaire at 9:02 PM on June 5, 2013

Looks like there's no overwhelming consensus, but there's also lots of folks expressing adaptability and a willingness to make whatever work. This is a good thing and it gives us options... but from a "nailing down a place" angle, it's problematic.

I nominate notsnot or Kid Charlemagne -- whoever responds to this thread first -- as honorary "benevolent dictator" for this decision. I say they weigh the discussion in this thread, pick a single place and a time, and we resolve that it will be at that place and time. I think either would do a great job, and that our folks are adaptable enough to not fuss much over it.

Also, as an aside:
One way or another, I guess this is pretty much a car city...
Haven't owned a car in 4 years; it was difficult to adjust to, at first, but I feel like I should add that it's very doable in our city. Our (post-Prop A) public transit system is pretty robust for a city of our size [PDF map, 2.7mb], and we recently qualified for the League of American Wheelmen's "bronze" rating for bicycle accessibility.

All of this to say that I can see why it might look like a "car city" -- and 5 years ago I might've held that exact position -- but there's a ton of folks who (either by economic circumstance, or political statement, or what have you) are making it work here without one. (It's been good to me -- the only time I miss a car is when I'm buying eggs at the store.)

tl;dr: Kid Charlemagne or notsnot: You pick?
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 8:35 AM on June 6, 2013

Let's do the Handlebar. For my part, I've not been in that space since it was the Church Key. The bike-centric theme is Impressive! to Citizens of Other Places! 7pm work for you, Maryr?

From the airport, get on I70 east to I-170 South (almost immediate). Head south to I-64 (St. LOuisans call it for its US highway name, "farty") and go east to Kingshighway. South on Kingshighway less than a mile to Manchester. East (left) on Manchester. Go through a couple lights, Handlebar is on north (left)side of street.
posted by notsnot at 6:01 PM on June 6, 2013

7pm should work for me and thank you for the directions. I'll switch this over to confirmed at Handlebar.
posted by maryr at 9:57 PM on June 6, 2013

I glazed over this before but I am totally into it.
posted by invitapriore at 1:27 PM on June 7, 2013

I am absolutely into it, and yeah, I've made it to a meetup by bike before. If anyone wants to get there a wee bit earlier like 6:30-ish it would totally give me more time before I have to leave to go to work.

Also, the Friday before that Sunday is Flag Day Ride if anyone is interested, since I haven't been able to make many of the bike rides because I work at night I'll definitely be going on that one.
posted by lizarrd at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2013

I can't make it, but want to say that I'm so happy to read there are StL folks getting around OK without a car! I was dismayed at the car-centric-ness of StL when we moved back here in 2007. If it's getting better, that's awesome. Enjoy the meetup, all.
posted by homelystar at 7:23 AM on June 11, 2013

Grrrrr. So in response to the St. Louis, city of sin thing I just proposed a meetup, and only because of that did I see this. I thought the system was supposed to send me a Mefimail if there was a meetup within 100 miles of my house or some such.

See you folks there.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:22 PM on June 13, 2013

Can we have another STL meetup soon that is not on Father's Day? Because I would very much like to come to this one, but I'd feel kinda mean ditching the father of my child for dinner and all. I hope you all have fun.
posted by BlueJae at 11:25 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have arrived in town and have eaten at your exotic Saint Louis Bread Company. Looking forward to meeting folks tomorrow night.
posted by maryr at 10:06 AM on June 15, 2013

Shooting for being there c.7:30, w/+1. We'll have already eaten, so nobody feel like they should wait on our account. Looking forward to it.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 3:05 PM on June 16, 2013

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