The Shack Pubgrub (3818 Laclede Avenue; 314-533-7000)
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Deal: Half-off premium wells, domestic and import beers, wines and appetizers.
The Scene: Just a stone's throw from Saint Louis University's campus, the Shack comes across as a primarily college-kid hangout. The exposed brick walls and heavy wooden beams give the pub a rustic ambiance, but the shiny metal and glass block bar feels like something straight out of a '50s soda shop. This diner-meets-pub offers a food menu that is total Americana. Chicken wings, burgers, pizzas and the "Shack-wich" load the menu with more calories than we could count. But the food is neither heavy nor fatty, but a surprisingly delicious departure from classic greasy-spoon diner food.
The Shack has a mellow feel, making it an ideal place to hang out on a week night, or to fuel up before a late night of partying on the weekend. For non-SLU kids with no interest in partying the night away, Gut Check spied a few families chowing down on burgers and fries. For those with a competitive edge, the back room holds both a dartboard and a shuffleboard table.
Why You'll Go Back: In addition to a happy hour, the Shack also has a later industry-night special on Mondays from 6 p.m. to close, offering $1 burgers, $1 off draft pints, $3 Three Olives bombs and $4 Three Olives cocktails. One George Washington for a hamburger? Gut Check likes to think America's first president would approve. The Shack has a surprising beer collection, with an impressive draft list and a decent selection of bottles. An unexpected treat was the amount of good bourbons served, poured straight as a "sipper."
The Verdict: The Shack serves good American food, with good American beers (with a few foreign exceptions -- looking at you, Guinness and Stella) to create a low-key alternative to some of the busier restaurants and bars in midtown. You'll come for the $1 burgers, stay for the drafts and finally, have trouble finding the door because of one too many bourbon sippers.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.