idol wolf at 21c museum hotel in downtown st. louis photo courtesy of chris cooper archexplorer

5 new St. Louis restaurants and bars with gorgeous interiors

The way a place looks and feels can make all the difference to your experience at a restaurant or bar. These five recently opened St. Louis venues and bars take care of the details in very different ways, but they're all stunning places to spend a few hours over a meal or a few drinks.  

Idol Wolf
Stunning design is part of the deal with 21c Museum Hotels, and there are few more gorgeous spaces in St. Louis right now than this Spanish restaurant inside 21c’s St. Louis property. The restaurant is divided into two distinct areas. First, you’ll encounter the bright lounge with a tiled horseshoe bar at the center. Sip on a glass of wine or a sangria at the bar, admire the high ceilings and take in the scale of the art pieces that hang from the walls. You can also order dinner in the lounge, which opens out onto the hotel lobby, but we love the relative seclusion of Idol Wolf’s dining room. This cavernous yet intimate space blends a varied assortment of elements with equal parts audacity and skill. One highlight is the textured coral-pink ceiling with recessed lighting, which appears to have been placed at random, creating the feel of a starry night sky. A herringbone tile floor, wooden wall paneling, floral-patterned upholstery and ceramic tiles in various shades of red add further color and texture. The “wall” of twisted brown leather straps is another immediately recognizable touch, catching the light to lend the space an earthy glow.

1528 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.325.0360,


bar moro in clayton // photo by michelle volansky


Bar Moro
At least some of the credit for Bar Moro’s stylish interior belongs to its predecessor, Zoe Robinson’s Billie-Jean. Bar Moro owner Ben Poremba wisely retained key components of Robinson’s blueprint: The monochromatic jet-black shell, sleek mid-century modern chairs and stools, that sweeping booth at the back of the restaurant and the intimacy that crackles where the curved bar meets the shotgun dining room. But Poremba’s Spanish restaurant builds on its inheritance and asserts its own vibrant identity. Fishing nets hang above you, and Edo Rosenblith’s expansive paintings animate the wall facing the bar. The servers shuttle back and forth in their smart old-school white service jackets. On the bar, baskets of fruit are piled high, wine bottles chill in ice buckets and flowers spill out from their pots. It’s intentional, organized chaos that fills you with the sense that every corner of this restaurant is thrillingly alive. From this start, it’s hard not to be excited for the jamon iberico, Basque cheesecake, vermouth, sherry and sangria to come.

7610 Wydown Blvd., Clayton,


bonito bar in university city // photo by meera nagarajan


Bonito Bar
Tucked away in a corner of Frida’s, the small but mighty Bonito Bar is filled with memorable design moments. In this gem of a space, all the details stand out – and each is thoughtfully curated. The first thing you’ll notice is the golden ceiling and rich emerald green walls, a color combination that is luxe and inviting. Leafy, tropical plants and elegant seating soften the entrance, and the lighting here is calming, warm and layered: the little strips that cast light on the bottles behind the bar, spotlights that draw attention to the artwork on the walls, and golden light fixtures that echo the gilded ceiling. An installation of clear glass hummingbirds hangs above the bar area, glinting as you walk by, while a tiled fish scale pattern in varying hues of blue wraps around the bar itself, the ideal spot to sip on the Our Husband’s Margarita.
622 North and South Road, University City, 314.727.6500,


none of the above at city foundry stl // photo courtesy of cam kennedy for none of the above


None of the Above (NOTA) 
Navy blue walls, dark wood features and the copper-hued drop ceiling set an elegant tone at Niche Food Group’s upscale speakeasy, but it’s the little things that stay with you. The mood lighting is fine-tuned to draw your gaze to those exquisite details, lending the space a cinematic quality. Every feature of The Lawrence Group’s thoughtful design, from the patterned rugs and knowingly mismatched chairs to the mood lighting and framed art, adds an extra note of sophistication. The hidden back room, The Library, is equally well-appointed, with a twist of intimacy and coziness.
3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, 314.656.6682,


tim's chome bar // photo by michelle volansky


Tim’s Chrome Bar
Tim’s Chrome Bar has been a fixture in Bevo since 1977, but the past two years have kicked off a new era, with a change of ownership and a complete renovation giving the bar an entirely fresh identity. The retro-maximalist theme is unlike anywhere else in the city, and it’s clear every opportunity was taken to bring warmth and detail to the space. There’s charm, color and character literally everywhere you look, from the plaid wallpaper and the 3D floor tiling to the ceiling’s floral cutouts and the funky lamps illuminating the leopard print walls behind the bar. For the best seat in the house, seek out the cozy seating area by the old-school Malm fireplace in the back and pull up a comfy mid-century-inspired chair and a vintage TV tray. 
4736 Gravois Ave., St. Louis,