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These patios are perfect for social distancing hangouts with friends

If you're looking to get outside and hang out with loved ones, these restaurants, bars and breweries are taking extra precautions to keep you safe
Credit: Schlafly

ST. LOUIS — We’ve been hunkering down for months because of the coronavirus – doing our part to flatten the curve and slow the spread. But now the sweet summer air and the reopening of local restaurants and bars is luring many St. Louisans out into the public.

If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still has you a little hesitant to dine out again, you’re not alone. So, we put together a list of some outdoor patios that are perfect for socially distant hangs with your friends and family.

Do you know of a great spot that’s not on this list? Send us an email here.

4 Hands Brewing Co.

Credit: Instagram

The parking lot is now the patio at 4 Hands, making for a lot of extra hangout space for safe, socially distant gatherings with loved ones. The brewery just opened up the space on Thursday, complete with a large tent to help keep customers cool. There's also a "grassy" area with bags and outdoor skeeball. Oh, and draft beer, of course. Reservations are required. 4 Hands is booking up to 100 people per two-hour session. There's a six-person limit per group. There's no charge to book a spot, which you can do on 4 Hands' website here.

  • Hours: Daily Noon – 6 p.m.
  • Address: 1220 South 8th Street, St. Louis, MO

9 Mile Garden

Credit: KSDK

OK, so this isn't technically a patio, but it is one big hangout spot. Missouri's first food truck garden is located in Affton, bringing a rotation of the St. Louis area's favorite food trucks. But, there's also a lot of space to sit and enjoy food, drinks, live music and even movies with your friends and family. There are picnic tables set up throughout 9 Mile Garden, but you also can bring your own lawn chairs. 

Boathouse at Forest Park

Credit: Facebook: Boathouse at Forest Park

All of Forest Park can be your socially distant patio after grabbing a bite to eat to-go at this gem in St. Louis. The Boathouse restaurant itself does have seating on its patio along the lake, but customers are encourage to grab items from the picnic-friendly menu and enjoy their meal at scenic spots around the park.

  • Hours: Tuesday – Thursday, Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Closed Mondays
  • Address: 6101 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO

Chao Baan

Credit: Chao Baan

Diners can enjoy Thai dishes and cocktails under umbrella-covered picnic tables on Chao Baan’s patio. The tables are spaced more than 6 feet apart, the restaurant is only using paper menus and all food is served in recyclable to-go containers. All employees are required to wear masks, and hand sanitizer stations are available at all entrances. Staff members are sanitizing high-touch items, like check presenters, before and after each use. Outdoor seating is first come, first served, so customers are urged to call ahead to check availability.

  • Hours: Daily 4 – 10 p.m. 
  • Address: 4087 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, MO

Cinder Bar at Cinder House

Credit: Instagram

Talk about a drink with a view. And to top it all off, you can grab a meal or some apps from the menu created by James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft. Reservations are required at the Cinder Bar and can be made on OpenTable or by calling 314-881-5759.

  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Address: 999 N. Second Street, St. Louis, MO

Hacienda

Credit: Hacienda

The margaritas are flowing again at this St. Louis County staple, which has been around for more than 50 years. Hacienda boasts one of the best patios for snacking on chips and salsa and washing it all down with an icy cold margarita. The popular outdoor space just reopened with a fresh, new look in 2019 – complete with more tables with umbrellas and a new cabana bar. Hacienda is asking guests to call ahead to get an accurate wait time to avoid crowding outside the restaurant. A limited food menu is available. Employees have their temperatures checked as they walk into work and are required to wear masks and gloves.

  • Hours: Hacienda: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Address: 9748 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, MO

Moonrise Hotel

Credit: Instagram

“A rooftop bar beneath the moon” is how the Moonrise Hotel describes its garden drink spot along the Delmar Loop. Cozy chairs and couches are mixed with dinner tables and open spaces for spacious mingling. The rooftop bar is located on the eighth floor and is open for anyone, no room reservations needed. Food service is closed for the time being, but guests are welcome to bring in to-go meals or delivery orders. Food from home or through a catering service is not allowed, though.

  • Hours: Sunday 5 p.m. – midnight, Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Friday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 2:45 a.m.
  • Address: 6177 Delmar, St. Louis, MO

Rockwell Beer

Credit: Instagram

The Botanical Heights brewery known for its shipping containers has put together an extensive plan for safe drinking on its outdoor patio. Reservations are required for 1.75 hour blocks of time at Rockwell. Masks are required for everyone over 3 years old when entering the building, ordering at the bar and using the restrooms.

  • Hours: Rockwell Beer: Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday noon – midnight, Sunday noon – 8 p.m. 
  • Address: 1320 S. Vandeventer Avenue, St. Louis, MO

Russell’s on Macklind

Credit: Russell's on Macklind

Breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner can be enjoyed on the two-level patio at Russell’s on Macklind. One of those levels has covered seating, while the other is shaded with some trees. Tables are spaced 6 feet apart, all servers are wearing masks and table interactions are limited. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the restaurant. Reservations are encouraged for brunch and dinner and can be made on OpenTable.

  • Hours: Breakfast and lunch: Wednesday – Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner: Wednesday and Thursday 4 – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4 – 10 p.m. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.;
  • Address: 5400 Murdoch Avenue, St. Louis, MO

Schlafly Bottleworks

Credit: Schlafly

This might be one of the larger al fresco patio spots in the St. Louis area. This Maplewood location has a large *covered* outdoor patio with tables spaced out. Plus, it converted the entire parking lot area where the farmer’s market is usually held into an extended patio.

Reservations are encouraged for parties of one to six people only due to capacity limits. Those can be made online here. You can also check out the full Schlafly Bottleworks menu online here.

  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (food service ends at 9 p.m.)
  • Address: 7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood, MO

Sports & Social

Credit: Ballpark Village

The closest you might get to seeing baseball happen in person just might be at Sports & Social this year. This new space is part of Phase 2 of Ballpark Village. It just opened in June, bringing a large outdoor patio and new food and drink options right across the street from (the far too quiet) Busch Stadium. There are more than 300 seats on the new outdoor plaza. Guests will be able to enjoy live music on the weekends.

  • Hours: Sports & Social: Tuesday – Thursday 4 – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
  • Address: 651 Clark Avenue, St. Louis, MO

Urban Chestnut Biergarten

Credit: Instagram

The St. Louis brewery’s Midtown location is serving up draft beers under patio umbrellas. The Biergarten usually has seating for up to 400 people on the patio, but right now it’s limiting the capacity to up to 50 guests at a time, which is about 12.5% of the usual capacity. Groups are limited to no more than 10 people. All guests are asked to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking on the patio space. The Biergarten is serving up a limited menu of food and drinks.

  • Hours: Friday – Saturday 3 – 10 p.m., Sunday 1 – 8 p.m. 
  • Address: 3229 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO

Winery at Aerie’s Resort

Credit: KSDK

OK, this one isn’t in St. Louis, but it could very well be worth the drive. After making the trip up to Grafton, Illinois, along the Great River Road, your journey to the Winery at Aerie’s Resort isn’t over yet. The only way to get there right now is by riding the Grafton SkyTour, which is similar to a ski lift. The winery closed the roads in and out of the location to help with monitoring customers who come and go. Once you’re up at the top and inside the winery, sip in the scenic views of the Mississippi River bluffs. Canopy tents are providing shade for the spaced out tables and you can enjoy live music on the weekends.

  • Call to double check hours of operation
  • Address: 14 W. Main Street, Grafton, Illinois

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