With neighborhood staples like Culpeppers, 1764, Llewelyn’s, and Coffee Cartel closing their doors for good, now is the time to visit the Central West End and all of the great dining and entertainment it has to offer. Also, CWE (as the locals say) is just steps from St. Louis’ gorgeous Forest Park.

Recently, Brennan’s, another popular CWE spot, announced that they are closing after more than 17 years. Thankfully, they have plans to relocate in the area, but for other owners, that may not be an option.

Here are some great places to check out before it’s too late.

Get Crafty at Candle Fusion Studio

What’s that fantastic scent? If it’s not one of the delicious restaurants in the area, chances are it’s the Candle Fusion Studio on McPherson Avenue. This boutique offers visitors the opportunity to create their own custom candles from over 100 scents.

Husband and wife team Keith and Deanna opened this family-owned business in 2016. The shop offers the perfect outlet for everything from a family outing to a romantic date night.

And, don’t worry about setting the perfect date. The Candle Fusion Studio loves spontaneity and always welcomes walk-ins.

Stand with the Greats at Writer’s Corner

At the corner of McPherson and Euclid, statues of former CWE residents and literary legends Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot and Kate Chopin await. They sit on three corners of the intersection. Can you spot them all?

The statues are part of an initiative that began in 2007 to raise awareness of the literary history of St. Louis.

Find a Page-Turner at Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books in the Central West End

If you happen to catch the literary bug while visiting Writer’s Corner, Left Bank Books is the perfect spot to buzz around.

Founded in 1969 by graduate students from nearby Washington University, this locally-owned bookstore offers a curated selection of intelligent, relevant, and culturally diverse reads.

Left Bank also produces over 300 events a year. So, chances are you’ll find more than just your next favorite read when you stop in.

 

 

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Exterior of McPherson Building in Central West End
McPherson Building in Central West End | JZ Vacation Rentals | Click Photo for a Virtual Tour

 

Embrace St. Louis’ History at Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House

St. Louis has never been afraid to embrace its French heritage. We host one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans. For foodies, there’s also a host of restaurants with menu offerings that rival the best from “The Big Easy.”

Evangeline’s on Euclid is no exception.

When they’re not putting on their annual Cajun Festival, Evangeline’s is serving up comfort foods from crawfish to gumbo. Those looking for a festive drink can try one of Evangeline’s 14 hand-crafted and house-infused rums, or a “Vieux Carre Cocktail” like the VooDoo Mojo.

Evangeline’s also proudly supports St. Louis’ vibrant music scene, hosting local artists almost every night of the week.

Sip and Listen at Gamlin Whiskey House

After a full day enjoying the neighborhood, it’s time to relax. You earned it. Walk into Gamlin Whiskey House and reconnect with artisanship.

With a design inspired by the distilling process, utilizing reclaimed barrels and white oak, Gamlin is well suited to warm and nourish while you reflect on your visit to one of St. Louis’ most prominent neighborhoods.

Gamlin is also ranked as one of USA Today’s best bars for whiskey lovers and brings people together with food meant for sharing.

Throughout the year, Gamlin hosts a variety of events from country music nights to their monthly “Women and Whiskey,” which offers the chance to bond over whiskey and Irish dance.

 

Plan a day or leave time to wander. However you choose to visit, St. Louis’ Central West End welcomes you with open doors and plenty of great ways to enjoy the city.