Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Top Ten Hang-Out Spots in COMO

Things in Misery aren't all that bad. We do find ways to spend our free time...besides blogging. There are several great spots in town at which to loiter. Hang-outs can involve entertainment, seating, food, drink, or a little bit of everything.

So, here is the definitive living in misery list of hang-outs in all of COMO-town...

10. Mojo's - 1013 Park Ave, (573) 875-0588
Why hang out here?:
Jamaican jerk chicken, indie rock, a patio
Why not to hang out?:
shotgun-style architecture makes for a long, narrow room and poor acoustics

Typical Happening: There are regularly (or irregularly) great indie rock bands playing Mojo's, like this Thursday's Bald Eagle happening.

9. Cooper's Landing - 11505 S Easley River Rd, (573) 657-2544 Why hang out here?: Thai food, a view of The Big Muddy (aka Missouri River)
Why not to hang out?: mosquitoes, possibility of hippies and a drum circle
Typical Happening:
You can chow down on some authentic Thai while tapping your foot to the many blue grass bands that pass through on their canoes.

8. Flat Branch Brewery - 115 S 5th St, (573) 499-0400
Why hang out here?: beer, great patio, beer
Why not to hang out?: long waits, green chili beer
Typical Happening: You'll order a beer at the bar while waiting for a seat on the patio. Two KT Trails later, you're still waiting and decide just to drink at the bar and grab a growler to go.
7. Tropical Liqueurs - 515 E Broadway, (573) 442-8098
Why hang out here?: sweet, icy, adult drinks
Why not to hang out?: nothin' tropical about it
Typical Happening: You and your friends head to Trops before your favorite outdoor event in the District in order to satisfy your thirst for something sweet, cold and alcoholic in a Styrofoam to-go cup.

6. Sycamore - 800 E Broadway, (573) 874-8090
Why hang out here?: best beer selection in town, sophisticated menu
Why not to hang out?: yuppie clientele, pricey
Typical Happening: You and your significant other sit down for a romantic evening. You start the night off with an Oberon and order one of the Boulevard Smokestack Series to wash down the appetizer. By the time you finish a Duvel and order a barley wine for dessert, your partner has left you in a drunken stupor, but you're happily drunk on good beer.
5. Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream - 21 S 9th St, (573) 443-7400
Why hang out here?: kids love ice cream, owner loves this blog
Why not to hang out?: kids love ice cream, no salty caramel
Typical Happening: On a typically hot, Misery day, you take the kids for a cone and order yourself a Guinness float.

4. Shakespeare's Pizza (Downtown) - 225 S 9th St, (573) 449-2454
Why hang out here?: pizza, beer
Why not to hang out?: pizza tastes like cardboard the next day, still no garlic
Typical Happening: You meet a group of friends for some pizza, beer, and good times after the families have taken their dough-wielding children home.

3. Booches - 110 S 9th St, (573) 874-9519
Why hang out here?: the greatest burgers ever, beer
Why not to hang out?: too many curmudgeons, no vegetables (except for potato chips)
Typical Happening: Your dad comes into town about 3-4 times a year and this is the only place he wants to go while in COMO. Dad's like hamburgers.

2. Cherry Street Wine & Bistro - 505 Cherry St, (573) 442-7281
Why hang out here?: best dining in town, great wine selection, decent beer choices
Why not to hang out?: pricey
Typical Happening: You take your partner out for a romantic dinner, only this time you both get properly tipsy on wine...well, you know what happens next.

1. Ragtag Cinema Cafe Complex - 10 Hitt Street, (573)443-4359
Why hang out here?: coffee, beer, flicks, patio
Why not to hang out?: too many hipsters bumping elbows with yuppies
Typical Happening: You start out your day with a coffee and croissant from Uprise as you use the free wi-fi to get some work done. Soon, you have lunch and step next door to pay off your late fees at Ninth Street Video. As the workday winds down, you reward yourself with a Two-Hearted Ale Barry has already poured for you and contemplate whether to to see Son of Rambow or stay around for the rock show they forgot to promote.

What do you think? Did I miss something? Are they in the wrong order? Leave a comment. Join the fun! (Click on the pics above for their source.)


Pizza Cottontail said...

You forgot the Blue Fugue, best place on the planet. Put it somewhere in the top 3, bump Tropical Liqueurs, and you've got my vote.

comoprozac said...

I considered the Fugue, but the fact that people smoke there and there are rumors of bands being treated poorly bumped them from the list.

Trops is on the list mostly for kitsch purposes. They could be bumped to the end, though.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Re: the Fugue. The smoking thing isn't bad when it's slow, but when more than, say, 10 people are there, it becomes a problem. I hadn't heard about bands being treated poorly there...I know the previous owners had a reputation, though. Sound-wise, it's the worst place I've been. I think it's just stage location.

I miss Garfield's. Were you in CoMo when it was around? Garfield's was a bar and grill inside the mall.

comoprozac said...

I've never been to Garfield's, but I think it was here when we moved to COMO.

I have a real problem with the smoking. Sorry. The Fugue does have a great beer selection, and the people there have always been nice to me. Again, it's the smoking thing.

Pizza Cottontail said...

Agreed on the smoking. I admire that they're willing to defy a law they don't agree with, but as a nonsmoker, it hurts my lungs sometimes.

ATR said...

Great list. I was trying to think of some other places to add that were not completely tongue in cheek (Harpo's rooftop, with its lovely view of 10th and Cherry; the parking lot of the Rainbow Softball Complex), but I couldn't really come up with any. Well played!

Scott said...

Great list. I note that you don't have a coffeeshop or a breakfast place on there; any normal college town would score at least one of each as a fave hangout. Discuss.

And: Cooper's Landing might be top three on my list, just for the atmosphere, but the Thai food there is... well, it's a train wreck. It's so greasy and lacking in color or vegetables or subtle flavor or any of the things normally associated with "good food".

I agree this may be "authentic", but if so, it's authentic like a French $2 table wine, or like the twelve-cent ramen favored by vast segments of authentic Asia.

comoprozac said...

Those are good points, Scott. The way you described the food is classic. The Thai at CL actually isn't that good. It's on the list mostly because of the novelty.

Breakfast place? The diners here are OK, but I'd have to give a shout-out to Cafe Berlin...now that Cucina is no longer with us.

Coffee? The Ragtag does have coffee, and it's good. I much prefer a cup of joe at the 'Tag than anywhere else in town.

Pizza Cottontail said...

My favorite breakfast place in town was Coffee Zone. The Arabic breakfast is top-notch.

Ernie's is good, too, because they have veggie sausage.

Scott said...

My ideal college-town breakfast place would be like Cuccina but several times larger (the Uptown in Bloomington, IN is my gold standard). If you can't lounge around after the meal, open a newspaper and/or chat with your friends, without a line of people staring at your table greedily, it can't qualify.

The town's lack of a progressive, hip coffeeshop is perplexing. Coffee Zone has staggeringly great coffee, Lakota has good sunlight and great employees, but nobody's got worn comfy couches and Joy Division coming through the speakers.

comoprozac said...

I've heard of the Uptown...and I've only been to Bloomington twice to see my Buckeyes win another "home" game. That would be awesome if we had one of those here...the Uptown and Buckeyes.

As for coffee shops, the 'Tag is still a good option.

kaszeta said...

Proud to have my Flat Branch photo make your list. :)

Regarding some of the other comments: yeah, I've noticed the thai food is somewhat uneven in quality (mine was excellent, other orders at our picnic table were just kinda, well, meh)

And, for some odd reason, I'm craving Shakespeare's Pizza.

comoprozac said...

It was a good pic. We had Shakespeare's just last night.