Towering over the St. Louis skyline is the 630 foot Gateway Arch, a proud monument commemorating a time well before the West was won. St. Louis, for those unfamiliar with American history, was once considered to be the last great Western outpost before the land broke into rural frontier but today it stands as a booming metropolis equipped with what you might expect from one: skyscrapers, stadiums, circling concrete thoroughfares and a long-standing tradition of truly raucous nightlife.

3:36 P.M. Bear’s Den

(Courtesy of Bear’s Den)

We don’t typically associate college students with top-flight cuisine nor do we associate bears with eating more than a few berries and some fish, which is why our suggested stop at the Bear’s Den for the pre-drink grub might seem a tad anachronistic. Nevertheless, the boxy bar located just off Washington University’s campus hides within its walls a St. Louis secret: the best burger in town. The décor is nothing special, your friendly neighborhood bar type stuff, but the spot-on wait staff will serve you a burger that will make you forever scoff at all others attempting to imitate its perfection.

5:07 P.M. Absolutli Goosed

Ok James Bond. Time to class it up a bit and order a martini. We don’t really care how many but if you get to four (don’t get to four at four PM) during happy hour the last one is free. That is correct, the fourth martini is free and your night is probably all but over. Outside of the surly Sean Connery impressions, Goosed is actually quite sophisticated, with its crimson red walls and wealthy socialite clientele. Plus, its name is a pun. Two puns in fact, and we like that.

6:58 P.M. Off Broadway

(Courtesy Off Broadway)

So maybe you haven’t heard of everyone who takes the stage of Off Broadway but chances are in the near future you will. The venue’s small, intimate atmosphere could amplify any performance but it usually doesn’t have to; Off Broadway plays host to some serious up-and-coming Midwest talent.

8:41 P.M. Babe’s Tavern

(Courtesy Babe’s Tavern)

What’s in a name, right? Any bar implying an abundance of babes is a lock, but this watering hole goes above and beyond its stated promise; the cozy down-home space not only offers its namesake in droves but also a back patio beer garden for those long summer nights that never seem to end. As an added bonus its inauspicious exterior wards away the bustling touristy crowds.

10:39 P.M. Big Bang

(Courtesy Big Bang)

Far from the haunting du-du-de-du-de-du-de-du-dee of Deliverance fame, Big Bang classes up the dueling bit with pianos and they are some of the best in the business. Ranging from the classics to top 40, the pianists on staff will take your requests and the place is usually crawling with bachelorette parties which we know by rumor and stereotype to be messy, promiscuous affairs.

12:23 A.M. Colorado Bob’s Ship of Fools

(Courtesy Colorado Bob’s)

Never Sleeps will never send you into the unknown without at least one token dive bar on tap. The only bar on the block with a boat beached on the front lawn, Colorado Bob’s is tough to miss, even in those alcohol induced lapses when a boat parked out front a bar might seem commonplace. Complete with cheap beer, free nuts and Big Buck Hunter arcade game, the Ship of Fools is everything you want from a dive bar.

1:21 A.M. Rue 13

(Courtesy Rue 13)

A taste of the West Coast without quite being far enough West, Rue 13 is a half sushi, half cocktail club with a DJ spinning ‘round the clock. But it doesn’t stop there; whether you’re down for a far from casual burlesque show or just looking to travel back to the 80s every Friday night, Rue 13 puts on a show and pulls in a crowd considered by most to be tens or better.