“Where St. Louis meets the sky” is the apt slogan for St. Louis’ newest rooftop cocktail experience, UPBAR, which recently opened atop Element by Westin hotel in Midtown.
The 153-room hotel is located at 3763 Forest Park Avenue, across the street from City Foundry. Guests can take the elevator to the seventh floor and work their way to the southeast corner of the building. Inside, UPBAR invites guests with a sleek, lounge-like vibe.
“Our cocktails include the drinks you know and love, as well as signature drinks that were created in-house with our partners at Luxco,” says James Metcalf, UPBAR’s director of food and beverage.
Must-try libations include the tequila-infused Spicy Margarita, with five peppers and fresh juices, as well as the Full Muddled, a fine Old Fashioned with a modern twist.
Vodka lovers can try the Blue Berry Bubble (featuring Pearl Blueberry vodka with Wycliff rosé and fresh blueberries) or the Passion Project (featuring Pearl Plum vodka with cranberry and grapefruit juice, lemonade, and passion fruit, topped with Fresca). Whiskey fans might consider The Rebel (with Rebel Yell Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Wycliff rosé, and Luxardo maraschino cherries).
UPBAR also offers cocktail flights, so guests can experiment with new spirits and tastes. For example, if you want learn more about tequila, the Paloma flight features four types of the spirit.
“We regularly challenge our bartenders to craft their own signature cocktails,” says Metcalf, “and we are looking forward to choosing some of them to join our menu in the spring.”
And while UPBAR’s signature cocktails are the main focus, wine and beer also play a significant role. A menu of varietals from multiple regions includes Fat Bastard Merlot from France, Oregon’s Erath Resplendent Pinot Noir, and Tinto Negro Malbac from Argentina. Wine flights are also available.
The beer menu emphasizes local breweries, with a smattering of selections from Urban Chestnut, 2nd Shift, 4 Hands, and other regional favorites, including Springfield, Missouri-based Mother’s Brewing Co. and Columbia, Missouri-based Logboat Brewing Co. Behind the bar is an eight-tap system with rotating options, as well as bottles and cans. Beer flights are also available.
UPBAR describes itself as a “rooftop cocktail bar that happens to serve food.” To create a truly local menu, Metcalf teamed up with St. Louis-based companies, such as Crispy Edge, Louisa, and Volpi, to create a menu that features local favorites with an upgraded zest. There are rotating varieties of toasted ravioli, pot stickers, and flatbreads.
The menu also features fully loaded nachos, a bed of white corn tortilla chips topped with freshly made pico de gallo, white queso, pulled slow-cooked chicken, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, and avocado.
The Cuban Sandwich is built on a warm traditional Cuban baguette with a layer of garlic brown mustard (blended in-house), slow-cooked pulled pork and chicken, sweet spicy pickle chips, Swiss cheese, and a side of kettle chips.
UPBAR also offers a Sunday brunch, featuring Belgium waffles, fresh fruits, and different sauces and syrups, along with a $15 bottomless mimosa. On Monday nights, there’s an “All-Night Brunch,” with additional drink and food specials available until 11pm.