The Trade: St. Louis' New Rock & Roll Bar

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That tattoo-esque logo right there is for The TRADE, a new bar opening on Friday, May 9, in the same building as gay bar the Complex Nightclub (3515 Chouteau; 314-772-2645). Occupying a ground-level space that's been vacant for about a year-and-a-half, the 125-person-capacity bar is described by its proprietors as "tattoos and rock & roll."

Still, the TRADE won't have live bands or shows; instead, it will often feature a variety of familiar DJs from around St. Louis, spinning all permutations of the rock & roll genre. Moreover, perhaps one of the coolest features of the venue will be its jukebox: a vintage model donated by co-owner Joe Hedgpeth's grandmother that contains old-school country & western 45 RPM records

"This city needed a place to chill out and listen to rock & roll," says co-owner Wil Pelly.

Pelly and the other three co-owners of the TRADE - Hedgpeth, Jason (Homey) Smith and Rachel Smith -- are largely seasoned bar veterans who have worked at the Complex, the Hi-Pointe and the Creepy Crawl, so they know quite a bit about music.

But says Hedgpeth, "it was Wil's brilliant idea to get us all into this." They approached the owner of the Complex, Howard Meyer, who was immediately enthusiastic and supportive.

"This is a really hot space," Meyer says.

And despite the fact that the TRADE is in the same building as a gay bar, Pelly is quick to say that it's "a completely everything-friendly bar." Adds Hedgpeth: "Leave your ego at the door."

On the day I visited, the four co-owners were still in the midst of working on the space to make it presentable to the public. The general layout is like this, though: Walk into the Complex's entrance (see photo below) and head directly to your right. When you walk into the TRADE, the bar is on your left (see the snazzy orange chairs and picture of Sid Vicious), while in front of you toward the back will be dartboards and tables.

Here are the bar's vital statistics:

Name: The TRADE

Web site: MySpace page

Address: 3515 Chouteau

Phone: 314-772-2645

Hours of Operation/Days: Tuesday through Sunday, 4 p.m. until 3 a.m.

Cool upcoming events: The movie Heavy Metal Baghdad will have its premiere there on June 20.

Bar:

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Sid:

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Entrance:

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Snazzy wall:

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-- Annie Zaleski

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