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The Best of … the CWE

The Central West End is full of life. Its tree-lined streets are home to lively restaurants and bars, unique shops and historic residences, some that date back to the 1904 World’s Fair. The vibrant area has an energy all its own. Here are just a few of the highlights.

local shops
» Left Bank Books: Celebrating 50 years in business, it’s the oldest independent bookstore in the region. Make sure to check out its many author events.
» The Silver Lady: This shop has been offering a wide variety of original jewelry for 33 years.
» The Cup: Get a sweet treat at the StL’s OG gourmet cupcake bakery.

bars & restaurants 
» Club Viva: This nightclub offers Latin and Reggae nights weekly and a monthly Bollywood dance party.
» Cafe Osage: Dine among the greenery in a 1920s automotive warehouse turned plant nursery, shop and restaurant by Bowood Farms, and sample seasonal, organic fare—much of which is grown right in the CWE.
» West End Grill & Pub: This local watering hole shares a roof with the Gaslight Theater. It closed its doors in January, but the neighborhood came together to reopen it in April!

parks
» Forest Park: You don’t need much more than the city’s 1,300- acre crown jewel, which is larger than New York’s Central Park. It has miles of walking/running/ biking trails, playing fields, a golf course, restaurant with paddle boats and canoes, and countless cultural gems like the Saint Louis Zoo, The Muny and the Jewel Box.

notable landmarks
» World Chess Hall of Fame: Experts and novices alike can enjoy exhibitions and special programming for both adults and kids. And you can’t miss the world’s largest chess piece out front, coming in at 14 feet tall!
» Writer’s Corner: It features metal busts of T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams and Kate Chopin, all literary greats who hail from the neighborhood.
» Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis: Established in 1914, this houses the largest collection of mosaics in the world.

annual events
» CWE Home & Garden Tour (biennial in June): Take a walk through history inside some of the neighborhood’s oldest and grandest mansions.
» CWE Cocktail Party (June): This celebration pays tribute to the first cocktail party on record (held in the CWE in 1917!) with live entertainment and a cocktail competition.
» Bookfest St. Louis (September): Celebrate St. Louis’ literary history with panel discussions, book sales and live entertainment.
» CWE Halloween Party (October): This legendary street party includes an elaborate costume contest.

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