As part of the Feast on St. Louis: Behind the Apron series, we peek behind the curtain at how hotels and their restaurants are adapting to COVID-19. In our three-part series sponsored by Explore St. Louis, we talk to chefs and hotel managers about their efforts to keep guests and staff safe while providing an oasis for you to get some much needed relaxation. See parts one and two.
Live! by Loews in St. Louis is a brand-new, luxury hotel in the heart of Ballpark Village featuring the must-try restaurant, Clark and Bourbon. Opening during the pandemic has meant that the hotel and restaurant have had to hit the ground running by creating a robust safety routine while still creating unique and memorable experiences for their guests. So far, the property is nailing both.
For Cardinals fans, it’s not hyperbole to say Live! by Loews is nothing short of a dream. Not only is Busch Stadium mere steps outside the front door, the stadium looms large in the windows, including many of the favorite suites. The rooms and halls of the hotel feature custom artwork, each with subtle nods to Cardinals history that are enough alone to entertain any baseball trivia enthusiast.
The downtown addition allows guests to catch a game, explore Ballpark Village and imbibe without ever having to worry about leaving the area or traffic.
Safety and sanitization is another worry the team at Live! by Loews wants to take off guests’ minds too.
“We feel like we have taken every precaution we can and probably a few extras,” says Geneya Sauro, general manager at Live! by Loews, St. Louis. “Safety is our top priority and we want guests to feel comfortable.”
To make this happen, they have taken a two-fold approach. Team members are required to wear masks and comply with temperature checks when they arrive for the work day. They also answer questions which are then logged in the event contact tracing is needed.
For guests, a pre-arrival email helps them prepare and know what to expect. Masks are required for guests in any of the public spaces. Signage and sanitation stations throughout the building help them practice distancing and stay healthy. These practices carry over into the restaurant as well.
There is more to offer in the hotel beyond baseball (forgive me, St. Louis!) The restaurant features thoughtfully playful American classics executed with precision by executive chef, Matt Lange. Small plates steal the show like the half-inch bacon slab marinated in port wine or the house-made lobster dumplings served up in a sizzling cast-iron skillet. But look no further than the bone-in filet mignon to prove the entrées don’t disappoint either.
As one might infer from the name, guests also don’t have to wander far to find flavorful libations. The whiskey room features more than 400 whiskies, bourbons and scotches from Kentucky to Kyoto. Their knowledgeable on-staff bourbon master is ready to answer questions about any one of them.
Cardinals fans, bourbon fans, fans of great food and drink and fans of safely leaving the house can all rejoice about this new instant classic.