The Wood (2733 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-781-4146)
The Hours: Monday and Wednesday and through Saturdays 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Tuesdays 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Monday through Friday 3 to 6 p.m.
The Deal: Half-off appetizers and select domestic beers.
The Scene: The Wood is a spacious, old-school American bar tucked away just off the hustle and bustle of Manchester Road in Maplewood. There's seating galore, and you can take your pick depending on the size of your party and your mood. There are leather couches hidden in a corner for more intimate evenings, booths for when the family tags along, high-top tables for a bite with friends and the always welcoming bar seat at 6 p.m. on a Monday night when you just want to drink. The place was quiet when Gut Check stopped by on a Monday night, and apparently the scene at the Wood is usually pretty mellow. The TVs behind the bar featured a wide range of entertainment from basketball and Cartoon Network show Adventure Time.
The Wood has a very good selection of beer, carrying more craft beers than it does domestics. Hey, when you're that close to Schlafly Bottleworks, you'd better be carrying some craft brews. The bar has a good selection of liquor and offers a few specialty cocktails. The food menu is mostly standard pub fare, such as wings, burgers and onion rings, but it all soaks up beer quite nicely, and tastes pretty darn good, too.
Like any good dive bar worth its salt, the Wood has pinball, darts and a jukebox -- so you can rock out to the Who's "Pinball Wizard" while slamming your way to a jackpot. Be careful -- no tilting.
Why You'll Go Back: In addition to cheap happy hour specials, the Wood has drink specials throughout the week. In addition to its 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour, it also offers a 9 p.m. to close happy hour every night of the week except Sunday. Tuesday nights are free bar trivia nights, and the Wood also has live music throughout the week. There's always something going on, whether it's a local rock band making noise or special $3 pints of Guinness.
The Verdict: If you want to go against the grain of a regular night out in downtown Maplewood, give the Wood a try. It's the kind of place that would immediately turn a newcomer into a regular after just one visit. If you need a new weekday after-work hangout, then branch out and get on board with the Wood. (OK, we're finally done with the wood puns.)