For most residents of St. Louis, trekking across the river into Illinois for entertainment purposes is generally an unfortunate misstep that begins in a hazy moment of weakness at about 2 a.m. and often ends sometime the following morning in Sauget. But for five years the Ground Floor consistently offered compelling reasons to figure out how the hell to get all the way to Belleville and return to tell the tale. National touring bands graced its lofty stage and monthly electronic- and experimental-music nights offered a home to eccentric artists and musicians. The club's atmosphere rivaled that of any area venue, with its towering ceilings, retro furniture and an entire wall devoted to the work of local artists. In a time when the rock-venue landscape in St. Louis was a quicksand pit of uncertainty, the Ground Floor provided a solid foundation and helped a small scene to blossom — if only for a few short years.