Alcohol | St. Louis Public Radio


The Lone Wolf Club, shown here, was a speakeasy during Prohibition. The club, which stood at the edge of what is now Castlewood State Park, later became a private tavern.
Castlewood State Park

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. Enforcement of the new law started on Jan. 17, 1920.

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, we recognize the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by diving into St. Louis’ rich Prohibition-era history.

January 6, 2020 Dave Greteman
Emily Woodbury | St. Louis Public Radio

Getting drunk at dinner is sooo 2010. Some of the area’s most buzz-worthy bars are now focused on drinks that won’t get you buzzed. That includes Elmwood.

At this one-year-old Maplewood hotspot, the roster of booze-free cocktails (called “zero proof”) is just as interesting and complex as that of their liquor-fueled cousins. The restaurant is also serving drinks it calls “low proof,” offering a taste of spirits without condemning you to a raging headache the next morning.

Visitors to North Main Street in St. Charles start to head home after bars close on a Friday night in early August. The street has seen smaller crowds on weekends recently, and bar owners say a new liquor ordinance isn't helping. (Aug. 2 2019)
File Photo | Nicolas Telep | St. Louis Public Radio

Friday and Saturday nights don’t draw nearly as many people to St. Charles’ North Main Street as they did a year or so ago.

Eric Sohn, general manager of Quintessential Dining and Nightlife, said he used to have two DJs on weekends, one for each of the building’s floors. On a Friday night in August, there was only one DJ at work. Also, five bartenders were covering on that evening; last summer, he needed eight on weekends.

The St. Charles City Council meets to present the latest revisions to the proposed liquor ordinance to the public. Aug. 21, 2018
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Charles city officials have changed the controversial proposed liquor ordinance, causing contentious debate at the Tuesday night City Council meeting.

Council members presented the revisions publicly, which included an update to the city’s 1975 liquor ordinance. That ordinance has required bars to earn either at least 50 percent or $200,000 per year from food sales for decades. The new proposal would mandate any establishment with a liquor license on Main Street, to earn no more than 50 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales and would remove the $200,000 option.

Clientele of The Lost Whiskey swarm the dance floor and the bar during last call. The bar/restaurant opened its doors in late April and is one of the bars that could be affected by the proposed ordinance
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Charles’ historic district has two distinct identities.

During the day, people come to the three-block stretch of Main Street to browse in small shops and eat at locally owned restaurants. At night, 18 bars along the same street attract students from Lindenwood University and those looking for a good time.

But in recent years, that transformation after sunset has caused tension in both the historic district and the city.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

If you've been waiting to walk around the gate areas of St. Louis Lambert International Airport with a beer or cocktail, you need to continue to exercise patience. The process to revise alcohol permits allowing new state regulations to go into effect is not yet complete.

Donald Brewer starts raking trash on 7th Boulevard just after sunset on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Mardi Gras crowd was thinning out, and drunk revelers zigzagged in the middle of the street, kicking cans and shivering in the 35-degree weather. As they left the big party, Donald Antonio Brewer meticulously raked bits of confetti, beads, and plastic cups from the median onto Seventh Street for the street sweepers to catch later that Saturday night.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 30, 2013 - For all the buzz in the Missouri Capitol about guns, education and the budget, a different issue is attracting all the bucks – alcohol.

At least two dozen lobbyists are wandering the halls, representing one side or another in a complicated case that is fueling an array of lawsuits, has given birth to two bills and has now entangled a disparate band of regional politicians and national political groups.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 11, 2011 - Students visiting Washington University's health clinic this fall have been asked to complete forms to help school officials screen for alcohol misuse. It's one of two new approaches the university is taking to address binge drinking. The other involves a letter that Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton sent to the homes of incoming freshmen, urging parents to talk with their children about responsible alcohol use before sending them to college.

Everyday Addictions: Using drugs to quit alcohol

Jan 4, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 4, 2011 - After seven years of heavy drinking, business professional James Wienstroer literally hit rock bottom at the age of 32.

A drunken misstep on the MetroLink bridge over Clayton Road plunged him 16 feet, resulting in a severe head injury. He was given last rites and induced into a medical coma for five weeks.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 3, 2011 - If you're having trouble keeping your New Year's resolutions, it may be your mother's fault. Or your grandfather's. Or even your great-great grandmother's.

It's not a blame game. It's a relatively new science called epigenetics that may help explain why you blew your diet, sneaked a cigarette or fell off the wagon a short time after vowing to stop on Jan. 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 9, 2010 - Finally, some encouraging news. While wading through the seemingly endless litany of wars going badly, economies gone south, broken dreams, busted marriages and what Charles Bukowski once called “the routine tales of ordinary madness,” I came across a glimmer of hope, thanks to a report published by Time/CNN. Turns out drinkers — even heavy drinkers — tend to outlive their teetotaling counterparts.

Commentary: In vino veritas

Aug 27, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 27, 2008 - "In wine (there is) truth." That venerable Latin adage, usually attributed to Pliny the Elder, references the tendency of alcohol to loosen tongues. Of course, as any seasoned drinker can tell you, the truth revealed with clarity while under the influence is often not the same truth experienced by its hung-over oracle the morning after. That's why it's a good idea not to drink too much at the office Christmas party.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 12, 2008 - Excess Drinking Linked to Metabolic Syndrome