Cover Story

Sky-High Views: Three Sixty at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Perched 26 stories above downtown, Three Sixty at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark is not like any other restaurant in town. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with light and offer exceptional views of the city. Colorful decor and oversized seating create a vibe that’s equal parts swanky and cozy. A massive outdoor patio offers guests a bird’s-eye view of Cardinals games at Busch Stadium below. “It’s a very special venue,” says Steve O’Loughlin, president of Lodging Hospitality Management, which owns Three Sixty. “One of my favorite things, and it never gets old, is watching the elevators arrive and seeing people’s eyes open wide as they say, ‘Wow!’”

OBC_LHM-NOBOX-8.26LHM purchased the building in 2005 and converted the existing hotel into a Hilton. Five years later, O’Loughlin visited theWit Hotel in Chicago and fell in love with its rooftop bar. Excited to recreate the experience in St. Louis, he immediately hired theWit’s designer, Bob Amick of Atlanta, to create Three Sixty. Adding a floor to a 25-story hotel is not a small endeavor. The project cost $7.2 million, with $1 million going toward raising the elevator. The costly and tricky construction was worth it, O’Loughlin says, to make the Ballpark Hilton a showpiece in the heart of downtown. “Hotels are almost a commodity. A Hilton, a Marriott or a Westin all are nice. This is a differentiator for our hotel, putting us off the charts.”

The gamble paid off. Three Sixty is frequently recognized as one of the best rooftop bars in the world, an honor earned most recently in Premier Traveler. O’Loughlin credits the views, which include Kiener Plaza and Citygarden on one side, and the Mississippi River, Gateway Arch, and Old St. Louis County Courthouse on the other. “Anywhere you look is breathtaking,” he says. The most famous view, of course, is the ballpark. “It’s an experience to watch a game here. You can see it live below you or turn around and see it on our TVs. You are with a bunch of Cards fans, and it’s a fun atmosphere.”

In addition to the scenery, Three Sixty offers an upscale casual menu, created by chef Rex Hale. There are dozens of small, shareable plates made from locally sourced ingredients, and a long list of wine, local beers and craft cocktails. “It surprises a lot of people,” O’Loughlin says. “You’re in a bar atmosphere, but it’s not chicken wings and pub grub; it’s really good food.” The rooftop venue also is known for music. There’s a house DJ year-round and periodic live performances from big-name artists like Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line and Icona Pop. “Where else can you get these spectacular views, great food and great music all in one venue?” asks O’Loughlin. “When you’re up here, you realize how special our city is. It’s something we all can be proud of.”

[Three Sixty Rootop Bar, located atop Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark at 1 S. Broadway, offers sweeping views of downtown St. Louis. For more information, call 314.241.8439 or visit 360-stl.com.]

Photo: Debbie Franke

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