by Nancy Stiles
Yes, the race only lasts for two minutes, but it is the most exciting two minutes in sports. Plus, we kind of love everything that goes with the Kentucky Derby -- the hats, the clothes and especially the mint juleps. We may not be at Churchill Downs, but we can still party. Here's where to do it.
The Royale (3132 South Kingshighway; 314-772-3600)
The Royale's annual Derby party is one of the best. Derby attire is required (that means ties for men and hats for ladies) whether you sign up for the best dressed contest or not. Mint juleps and other cocktails will be on hand, plus live music before and after the race. The party starts at 2 p.m and goes until 8:30 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the Royale for $8; it's $10 at the door.
Wheelhouse (15 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-7955)
One of our favorite sports bars will have the race on. Enjoy $5 mint juleps from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. They'll also be cooking up hot brown sandwiches, a delicious dish invented in Louisville in 1926. It's and open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich with Mornay sauce.
Three Sixty (1 South Broadway; 314-241-8439)
"Watch the Kentucky Derby high above the city at Three Sixty. Another bonus: part of the proceeds benefit the St. Louis Children's Hospital. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, mint juleps, best dressed contests and more. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door, available here."
St. Andrew's Derby Brunch at Magic Chef Mansion (3400 Russell Boulevard; 314-421-6474)
This is a serious Kentucky Derby party. The fundraiser for St. Andrew's Resources for Seniors System is an annual Southern garden party. Your ticket includes mint juleps and other signature cocktails, plus bites from Home Wine Kitchen, Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Strange Donuts, the Truffle Shack, Zettie's Confections are more. There's also a vintage hat display, live music and of course, the Derby. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $100, available here.
Bar Napoli (7754 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-863-5731)
The Red Shoe Society, a Ronald McDonald House Charity networking group for young professionals, is hosting a Kentucky Derby party at Napoli. The event will feature Southern food, mint juleps, a silent auction, best dressed contests and of course, networking opportunities. Required attire is "blazers and jackets with pastel collared shirts and ties for men, dresses or slacks for ladies and large-brimmed, feminine or frilly hats." From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and $90 for two, available here.