It's a great day when a place can be restored to its former glory, from ancient ruins, to East St. Louis...just you wait! For a joint back in force, hit Taurus.
A cottage steadfastly functioning as a beloved eatery/watering hole in one form or another since 1926, Taurus closed in 2002 due to a nearby condo development, but was preserved, and is re-emerging this weekend as a sturdy tavern/burger joint with loads of the original wares and a feel so old-timey, people'll blessedly confuse your capris for knickers. The cottage is cleaned up but has the original working fireplace, hardwood floors, a row of the original thick pine tables, little bronze plaques with names of the regulars who used to drink there in decades past, and a saddle at the bar, 'cause apparently one of the old regulars was a retired and depressed Secretariat. Drink and grub's pleasantly straightforward, presented on a chalkboard w/ daily variations on their two staples: chicken wings and a 10-oz USDA Prime burger rolled with spices the chef daren't mention, then char-grilled, slapped with your choice of cheese, and flanked by truffle oil fries; the bar's full of liquor, and gets a US-only wine list and bottled brews including PA's Yuengling, Saranac from Upstate New York, and Brooklyn Lager, plus a slew of imports like Guinness, Pilsner Urquell, and Newcastle, whose nutty notes will rival yours if you get too gallopy on that saddle. Tunes'll be mostly rock & roll and blues, with the eventual booking of live acts, especially during the 1/2-price drinks, 4-7pm Friday happy hour -- get there for the whole thing, and you'll become a ruin no one can restore.
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