Newly Renovated Chase Club Brings the Nightlife to the Chase Park Plaza

by

The "Air Mail," a classic '40s cocktail on the Chase Club's menu. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The "Air Mail," a classic '40s cocktail on the Chase Club's menu.

If you haven't been to the Chase Park Plaza (212 N. Kingshighway, 314-633-3000) in awhile, it's highly possible that your last memory of the venerable hotel involves dancing the night away at Cafe Eau — the casual bar and grill that frequently hosted live music for dancing and connected to the outside patio.

But last June, Cafe Eau changed its name to the Chase Club — and in the nine months that followed, a whole new bar has been gestating, right there in plain sight. Now ready for its official unveiling is a new menu, a smart list of top-notch cocktails, and a much sleeker, sharper appearance, courtesy of Atlanta-based TUL Designs. There's even a pair of new 75-inch flatscreens and pair of pool tables.

Joshua Johnson, the Chase Park Plaza's beverage manager, says the new look and new offerings are about staying up to date — even as the bar's Art Deco touches and some cocktail offerings harken back to the hotel's glorious past.

"We don't want to get stuck in a rut," he says.

"St. Paul Sliders" include a shrimp-studded egg patty on a soft bun. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • "St. Paul Sliders" include a shrimp-studded egg patty on a soft bun.

Just across the hall, the Preston, the small plates restaurant that the hotel debuted in early 2016, is wine-centric and meal-centric. The Chase Club is more casual, and is justifiably proud of its beer program — there are 18 taps, plus 27 bottles and cans. You can grab a bite there or keep drinking, and dancing, long after dinner is done. The food menu is by no means small — but the focus is on simple, tasty treats rather than elaborate presentations.

To that end, the kitchen offers a trio of "St. Paul Sliders," an addictive variation on the St. Louis classic, served on soft buns, studded with shrimp and topped with spicy mayo. There's also a burger, topped with boursin and bacon onion jam, and a "Short Rib Mac," a hearty riff on mac and cheese whose sauce is infused with braised short ribs.

Oh, and if you really want to get goofy, you'd be a fool not to order the PB, J & B, courtesy of the hotel's new executive pastry chef, Eric Phillips. Think of it as a peanut butter and jelly candy bar, with a scoop of house-made banana gelato on the side. (Of the banana, says Phillips, "We wanted to add that 'other' component," kicking things up a notch.) It's incredibly decadent, and also quite good.

The PB, J & B: a peanut butter and jelly bar topped with peanut brittle and accompanied by banana gelato. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The PB, J & B: a peanut butter and jelly bar topped with peanut brittle and accompanied by banana gelato.

The new concept has its grand opening this weekend, beginning Friday, a date designed to coincide with the Cardinals' home opener. The VIP grand opening is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 31, followed by all-day happy hour on both Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2. Well drinks at just $5 will accompany beer specials all day; the patio bar will be open.

On both Friday and Saturday, live music will ring out from 9 p.m. to close. Might be a perfect time to see how much has changed since you last drank the night away at the Chase.

The "Park Plaza Fizz": Ketel One Citron, orgeat and bitter lemon soda. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The "Park Plaza Fizz": Ketel One Citron, orgeat and bitter lemon soda.

Turn the page for more photos of the Chase Club.

The "Arch Rival": Bulleit brewed with black tea and vanilla beans, Big O ginger liqueur, grapefruit and house-made bitters. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The "Arch Rival": Bulleit brewed with black tea and vanilla beans, Big O ginger liqueur, grapefruit and house-made bitters.

The "Short Rib Mac." - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The "Short Rib Mac."
House-fried rice comes with chicken or shrimp. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • House-fried rice comes with chicken or shrimp.
The house burger comes topped with boursin and carmelized onions. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The house burger comes topped with boursin and carmelized onions.

The dining area overlooks the Chase's patio, a major hotspot that, on warm nights, features a bar of its own. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The dining area overlooks the Chase's patio, a major hotspot that, on warm nights, features a bar of its own.
The Chase Club's renovations have given it a cool pallette of striking blue and green tones. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The Chase Club's renovations have given it a cool pallette of striking blue and green tones.
Art Deco touches abound on the walls, including some seriously gorgeous chandeliers. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Art Deco touches abound on the walls, including some seriously gorgeous chandeliers.

img_7376.jpg

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


comment