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Bringing Back The Old Rock House

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

The Old Rock House opened in 2007 with the goal of becoming St. Louis' premier live music venue. Renovated to the hilt, the 6,000 square foot structure offers something for everyone. For die-hard music fans, the main floor and a mezzanine balcony offer an intimate place to catch first-rate local and national musicians. Guests can also sit back from the music on either floor, or escape completely to the cozy scotch and cigar lounge in the basement. Casual dining is available on all three floors.


  • Beautifully renovated historic structure offers a stunning atmosphere
  • Three floors each present a different setting and experience
  • State-of-the art sound system supports great local and national musicians


  • Limited restrooms means lines on busy nights
  • Food isn't as impressive as the atmosphere


  • Location: 1200 South 7th Avenue, St. Louis
  • Phone: (314) 588-0505
  • Hours: Monday - Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
    Friday 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.
    Saturday 5:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.

Guide Review - Bringing Back The Old Rock House

The original Old Rock House was an infamous saloon on the St. Louis riverfront, razed in 1959 to make room for the Gateway Arch. According to a 1958 Globe-Democrat article, it was "known from Minneapolis to New Orleans as one of the liveliest spots along the shores. Steamboat captains and millionaires shared drinks with Mark Twain and Eugene Field."

With such a reputation, reincarnating the Old Rock House was a tall order. Still, developers Dan Schmitt and Mark Disper did just that. Sort of. The new Old Rock House isn't the seedy but sexy saloon of years past. But it does promise to once again be one of the liveliest spots along the Mississippi.

Located just south of downtown, the Old Rock House is a brilliantly renovated turn-of-the-century tavern. The original structure had all the classic architectual trappings and ornamental brickwork. Yet its owners took the structure to new heights, making the exterior as elegant as a Dublin pub, and giving the interior a trendy, yet still historic atmosphere.

But beyond serving as eye candy, the Rock House is a superb music venue. Three sections on the main floor let you choose your proximatey to the stage, while a balcony on the second provides a bird's eye view. Wherever you sit, a top-notch sound system makes sure you hear and enjoy the music. The venue is put to good use with a variety of great acts, both local and national. And, if you're feeling mellow, there's an accoustic happy hour every evening.

The Rock House also serves good food. Its menu offers mostly barbeque and burgers, which are great for the lunch crowd, but its starters are the best match for the trendy nightclub atmosphere.

One last surprise is the basement wine cellar, where you can sit in private alcoves or mingle over wine cask tables in the main room. All that's missing are a few steamboat captains and a Mark Twain impersonator.

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