1634 TOWER GROVE AVE ST LOUIS MO 63110 314-932-1088 | WED-SAT 5:30P to 10P, LAST SEATING 10P
An austere wooden fence flanked by jacqueminot rose bushes separates the courtyard of Elaia from McRee Avenue, long known in South Saint Louis as a haven for drug dealers, pimps, and gangsters. The entrance walkway, however, makes it clear that a transformation has occurred here, with an abundance of succulents, flowers, and objects greeting guests. This oasis sits between two buildings resurrected from decades of neglect, and as one enters, the welcoming sounds of clinking glasses and crackling of a vinyl record spill out from OLIO. Elaia, up a small flight of stairs and a world away, is hushed candlelight. Shadows of bicycle wheels and copper pots spin slowly across the walls from an ersatz chandelier of found objects, gathered as if by a great magnet in the ceiling. There are 36 seats, a fireplace, and one dominant source of light from the kitchen.