Armory STL, a multi-venue entertainment and events space featuring a food counter, six bars, a 62-foot stage, a gigantic screen and an array of indoor games, opens its first phase on Friday, Dec. 16, at 3660 Market St. in Midtown St. Louis. The 250,000-square-foot destination is located in a historic building that once housed the Missouri National Guard, before serving as a sports complex among other functions through the decades.
Billed as “The Biggest Bar in St. Louis,” The Armory covers six acres across multiple floors and is intended as a space to “gather, play, eat, drink and discover.” The first phase includes the main hall, an enormous room that includes 500 square feet of bar space and over 20 games, including table tennis, beer pong, four-square badminton, ladder golf, 8-player foosball, giant checkers and chess, arcade games, washers and cornhole. The attractions also include a two-story slide, an adult-sized seesaw (made from one of the old roof trusses), and a photo booth.
Ali Lamb, the Armory’s director of marketing, said she invites the community to treat the Armory like the “living room of St. Louis,” comparing a night at the venue to a huge house party. “We want people to feel relaxed,” she said. “Take a deep breath. The last few years have been hard. We need to kick back, relax, have some fun, have a drink, have some snacks and you get to use this space as you want to use it.”
Food at the Armory is headed up by chef Brandon Powell, a St. Louisan who spent years working in California in culinary and operations roles at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The menu centers on food that is easy to carry and eat with your hands, the kind of food that is compatible with partaking in the Armory’s plethora of games. “It’s hard to play four-square badminton with a steak,” Lamb said. Customers order from a walk-up counter in the northeast corner of the main room. There are eight burgers, as well as paninis, quesadillas, five types of tacos, wings, salads, toasted raviolis, brats and the nacho-style “chip boards.”
The menu features products from a number of local brands, including barbecue sauce from Pappy’s Smokehouse, which is offered as a condiment at tables as well as being used as a topping on the Tillamook burger. The bratwurst is from G&W, Louisa supplies all the toasted ravioli, and you’ll find a range of ice cream from City Scoops Creamery. “They have really great flavors, a really great white chocolate-Oreo, for example, they’ve got a really great black cherry-chocolate,” Powell said. He said that as the Armory establishes itself, he’ll be looking to bring in more local partners if the opportunity arises.
Powell said he had expected the burgers and brats to be a hit among guests at pre-opening preview events, but he was pleased by the feedback on the food across the board. “The paninis have been a real nice surprise for us,” he said. “And we knew the ultimate chip boards were going to be a pretty popular item, but just the way that they’re coming out, I would say those are the ones that we’ve been most pleasantly surprised by.”
Powell said that it was important the menu offered something more compelling and exciting than the average bar menu. “We don’t want to make it more complicated than it needs to be, but also this city really has a great food base and food menu options across the board,” Powell said. “You don’t just open and try and just serve the regular food. You want to be different.”
“Across the board, I feel like we’ve knocked our sandwiches out of the park, but honestly when I look across the menu I’m proud of every bit of it,” Powell said. “We’ve got a lot of offerings for a counter-service type of offering, and we really wanted to make everything except the buns and the fries in-house. And if we didn’t make it in-house, we brought in a local purveyor that was going to be able to tie ourselves to the community.”
The six bars include the Michelob Ultra-sponsored Officers’ Club on the mezzanine level. The Crush Bar includes offers a range of fruity cocktails with pellet ice (or “Sonic ice”), while other bars are stocked with beers from local craft brewers including Rockwell Beer Co., 4 Hands Brewing Co. and Perennial Artisan Ales. Various spaces within the Armory are available for hire for events, offering varying degrees of seclusion, so that regular customers can still use the main hall.
Armory STL is home to 250,000 square feet of a variety of immersive, fun, unforgettable entertainment experiences.
- 6 acres of flexible indoor space to gather, play, eat, drink and discover
- 62-foot stage to host live entertainment
- 6 huge bars providing nearly 500 ft of bar space
- 92 tap handles
- 40+ interactive games
- A two-story slide
- Massive TV screens
- VIP event spaces
- And that’s just the beginning