photo by Justin Barr

By Trish Muyco-Tobin

With spring training 2018 on the horizon, it’s not too early to think about Cardinals baseball; and come Opening Day, the only place to be other than inside Busch Stadium itself is Ballpark Village. But no ever said Ballpark Village is exclusively for baseball season. In fact, it’s carved out its own imprint on the city’s social scene—as a dining destination or a place to hang out and watch the Blues game on the big screen.

photo courtesy of Ballpark Village

The St. Louis Cardinals recently broke ground on the second phase of Ballpark Village. The $260-million, 550,000-square-foot expansion will feature St. Louis’ first-ever Loews Hotel, Live! by Loews, which promises an unprecedented upscale hospitality experience. There are also plans for a 29-story luxury apartment tower, a health and fitness club, downtown St. Louis’ first new Class-A office building in 30 years, and more restaurant, retail and entertainment space.

Artist rendering of Phase Two of Ballpark Village

The additions will transform Clark Street into an unparalleled destination for sporting events, dining and entertainment. Look for some areas to open later this year, but the entire second phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2019.

In the meantime, there is plenty to do during baseball’s “off season,” including family-friendly movie nights, Hot Country Nights concerts, and singing and dancing at the dueling piano bar. There’s also a charity run that’s becoming known for its cheeky, unabashed theme: Cupid’s Undie Run.

Described as a “brief” run in the middle of a big party, Undie Run participants cover about a mile at their own pace. Proceeds benefit research to find a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that affects 1 in every 3,000 children born.

Runners are encouraged to come dressed in undies (or a costume), and join a team, run solo, or just come for the party and raise money for a good cause.

photo by Scott Lokitz

CUPID’S UNDIE RUN

Saturday, Feb. 10, Ballpark Village

Noon               Check in, party starts

2 p.m.              Lace up for a “brief” run

2:15 p.m.         Run concludes, party continues

photo by Scott Lokitz

$40 registration/admission

The event raises awareness of neurofibromatosis (NF) and benefits Cupid’s Charity,

with 100% of net proceeds going to NF research through the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).

cupids.org

 

IN AND AROUND BALLPARK VILLAGE

Fox Sports Midwest Live!

Located in the middle of the action, this two-level dining and entertainment space is best known for its 40-foot LED screen. But the other bells and whistles are just as impressive: a live concert stage, wraparound scoreboard display, VIP lounge area and a retractable glass roof. This is a sports fan’s dream come true! foxsportsmidwestlive.com

Cardinals Nation

Cardinals Nation

If Busch Stadium is baseball heaven, then this Cardinals-centric two-story restaurant elevates the fan experience to another level. Enjoy Meeting on the Mound Nachos before partaking on Home Team Pork Steak, or perhaps you prefer the Gold Glove Burger or the World Champion Grilled Cheese? Plus, there’s plenty of eye candy in the form of memorabilia on the walls, as well as the adjoining Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and a retail store. stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/cardinals-nation

Drunken Fish Mango Roll

Drunken Fish

This St. Louis-based sushi restaurant is a welcome sight for those seeking something other than bar-and-grill food for dinner before the game or lunch during the work week. You’ll find every sushi combination you’re in the mood for, as well as plenty of wok-prepared noodles and rice, and other Asian-inspired entrees. Happy Hour here is also popular, with an impressive sake selection and cocktails that are pretty as a picture. drunkenfish.com

The Wheelhouse

Located just a short walk away from Ballpark Village, this locally owned establishment is more than just an upscale bar. The modern/industrial space is aesthetically pleasing, with a sizeable dining area, two bars, a VIP mezzanine area and an outdoor patio. As far as the menu is concerned, the mouth-watering selections range from fresh salads with house-made dressings, to a variety of sandwiches, wraps and burgers, to tried-and-true entrees like Steak & Fries, Fish Tacos and Pan-Roasted Chicken—even Mac & Cheese gets its own category! And don’t forget about brunch on the weekends. Who can resist Bottomless Mimosas? wheelhousestl.com