Our mouths watered when we checked out the March issue of Maxim magazine -- and not just because Michelle Trachtenberg was on the cover. The mag's editors decided to name our own Bar 101, on South Broadway, one the top sixteen sports bars in America, giving praise to the establishment for its Cajun frogs' legs and $1 happy hour drafts.
The watering hole, located in Kosciusko, just east of Soulard, also scored points with the lad mag for its massive patio, which is equipped with two full-size sand volleyball courts, with another supposedly on the way after Mardi Gras.
We checked in with the bar's owner, Bill, to find out if he'd seen the review. Indeed he had -- and he appreciated the gesture so much, he says, that his eyes welled up with tears when he saw it.
"You work so hard to get to the point where your business pays off, so when someone recognizes you, you're like 'wow,' and you feel good," says Bill, who built the bar's interior himself.
Bill's not sure why the Maxim editors picked his place from the scores of St. Louis sports bars -- and a voicemail left for Maxim's features editor has not yet been returned -- but he assumes they were drawn to the bar's volleyball courts, dance floor and ginormous patio, which Bill says (including the sand pits) is the largest in the city and the second-largest in the state. He says he opened the bar in 2008 because no other bar in the city seemed to offer a beach/volleyball theme.
Now, he says, the summers are packed with barefoot patrons who participate in the bar's co-ed volleyball league, called "Wreck League Heroes." Matches are 6-on-6. At this point, space for the summer is limited, but once the third court gets built, spots should open up. The season starts the first week of April, and entry cost is $260, with the opportunity to win bar tabs. To register, visit bar101stlouis.com.
Bill says that his next goal is to bring in a basketball court. We'll keep you posted.
Bar 101 was one of four bars from the Midwest to earn mention from Maxim; the others were in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; and Chicago.
For the curious planning to check out the place this week, however, we'd note that Bar 101 seems like more of a summer and late-night bar. When we swung by recently around 7 p.m., there were only a few cops hanging out, and, sadly, the frogs' legs (which we learned are shipped in from China) aren't on the menu this month. But Bill reassures us that they'll make a comeback in time for summer volleyball season.