The Joint: Nadine's Gin Joint 1931 South 12th Street 314-436-3045
The Hours: Mon.-Fri. 4-7 pm
The Deal: $2.50 wells, $2.25 domestic bottles or $12 buckets, menu of select appetizers for $3 and under.
And you thought "gin joint happy hour" was an oxymoron!
The Scene: Smelling sweetly of the scent of Soulard, Nadine's is exactly what it claims to be: a joint. Built with weathered bricks, furbished with well-used wooden high-tops and cooled by slow-turning paddle fans, Nadine's attracts a loyal crowd of over-30 regulars. While the liquor selection includes everything from the basics to multiple- and unexpected-flavor spirits, this is the type of place where you order simply: a gin and tonic, a Jack and Coke or a bottle of Bud.
The bartenders are neighborly and the downhome-style food is served hot after an order-up bell rings in the kitchen window. The fried artichoke hearts are fabulous, although they're not on the Happy Hour app menu. Despite having been fried and served with a horseradish sauce, they're, well, delicate. The sauce isn't overpowering and the artichokes have an almost-smooth texture.
Why You'll Go Back: Because it's just that kind of place. When you and your gang are looking for a laidback drink, the phrase, "Let's go to Nadine's" will trip naturally off your tongue.
The Verdict: Nadine's a swell gal. What with her decent drink prices and chillax atmosphere, you could visit at any time, not only between the hours of four and seven, to pass a happy hour.