Monday, May 29, 2023

POP Sparkling Bar In St. Louis

After a year-long hiatus, Dave Bailey and Kara Bailey’s champagne-themed bar/restaurant in Lafayette Square, POP ( 1915 Park), softly opens to the public on Friday night. This will lead up to a grand opening later in the month.

The sister restaurant Baileys Chocolate Bar is located upstairs in the same structure and will open at the end of the month.

The Background

Dave explains that after the initial pandemic, we combined the POP & Baileys’ Chocolate Bar menus to reopen the building. We then sat on the first floor. “Finally we are back to using the floors independently, reopening POP and BCB a few weeks later.”

Water damage to both floors made it difficult for the delayed reopening. Dave says that while we had hoped to reopen earlier in the spring, due to water damage to both floors, repairs took much longer than anticipated. The remainder of the space was also restored to its pre-pandemic state and pre-pipe-break disaster.

The Atmosphere

The restaurant can seat 80 people inside, and 70 more on the bi-level covered wraparound porch. This is easily one of the most romantic and private outdoor dining spots in the entire city.

POP’s interior is divided into two rooms. The front room has Warhol-esque floral wallpaper. The shotgun area is dominated by a dark wood bar. The other side is lined with a long, black wood and tufted-leather banquette, while pillows add pops of color.

One exposed brick wall in the rear dining room is painted black and the other is covered with bricks. It feels as if it was taken straight from New Orleans’ French Quarter. The charm is enhanced by the wall sconces with filament-bulb lights. Below a cabinet of stemware, are iced bottles with service-ready sparklers. They sit akimbo in old silver punch bowls.

Kara Picker and Maryellen Picker, a retired art teacher, have created Jackson Pollock-style paintings along the wall opposite. Dave said that the pops of color Pop Art touches and overall concept of “playoff sparkling wines and bubbles”, were previously told.

The Menu

The concept of bubbles evolved as the restaurant opened its doors in January 2019. The beverage menu includes a wide range of sparkling wine and champagne from all over the globe, as well as sparkling cocktails made with spirits, beer, and sparkling cider.


Pickled radishes and sliced ribeye were served with pickled radishes. These accent colors were matched in the main area this evening.

Duff Hufford is a St. Louis native who has been living in Sonoma for 25 years and offers pairing suggestions. Hufford will guide you through bubbles of different countries and regions as you order a variety. This is one of the highlights of the POP experience.

Scott Davis, the executive chef, and general manager, designed and executed the food menu. Davis was previously the executive chef at Three Flags Tavern and Cafe Osage. While waiting for POP’s reopening, he also overhauled the menu at Little Batch, another Bailey’s restaurant, which somehow manages a combination of a vegetarian menu and a wide selection of whiskies.

The new menu, which includes seven small plates and five main courses, is completely different from POP’s original offerings. It focuses on big flavors, brightly colored presentations, and bold flavors. A small plate includes pork and shrimp Scotch eggs with sambal, a grilled cabbage Caesar and two must-haves: housemade ricotta and pickled green tomatoes with shishito peppers ( pictured above) and pan-seared scallops, bacon marmalade, and champagne sabayon, an incredible deal at $19.

A large plate includes a grilled half-chicken with turnip purée and green harissa, grilled Spanish Mackerel, a grass-fed double bacon cheddar hamburger, and a wild mushrooms omelet with fonduta. You can choose from custard-stuffed profiteroles to goat cheese cheesecake.

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