New venue: The Pitch raises the bar for downtown sports bars.

By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage Travel/Food Editor

Soccer fans have more to celebrate than the St. Louis City SC opening season thanks to Lodging Hospitality Management. LHM has created St. Louis’s first soccer centric sports bar, The Pitch Athletic Club and Tavern, located catty-corner from City SC stadium next to The Wheel at Union Station.

Todd Hotaling, LHM’s vice president of revenue and marketing reports that The Pitch, which is named to reflect what the soccer field is called. A name taken from the cricket fields on  is the first sports bar in the region spotlighting soccer. A concept that reimagined the sport bar. Transforming a 9,000 square foot space into a steampunk clubby take on an Old-World pub. Decorated with St Louis soccer memorabilia, current City SC players that punctuates its interior wood finishes, exposed brick, green plaid accents, and structural pillars painted forest green.

Like any sports bar large TVs are positioned for guest to catch the matches, which include both American and International matches along with the action from the Cardinals, Blues and Battle Hawks. The choicest spot to grab and view your game of choice are the living room coves that ring the main dining room and bar. Each sports its own large screen TV surrounded by leather lounge chairs and low cocktail tables. Designed as a cozy semi-private gathering for small groups that encourages one to relax, imbibe, and order up from a menu, which like The Pitch, ups the ante on pub grab, beginning with its wings.

Beyond the traditional hot sauce dredged wings there are lemon garlic wings, deep fried with a dusting of Parmesan and lots of lemon served with an aioli dipping sauce. Fresh baked Bavarian jumbo pretzels arrive with a side of beer cheese and Lobster Rangoon is paired with a passionfruit sweet chili sauce. Potato skins have become Loaded and Smashed Potatoes. A must try is the Biltong, a delightfully spiced South African beef jerky along with the old school fav, French Onion Dip with Ruffles and St. Louis’s must have – house made toasted ravioli.

Sandwiches are elevated with the addition some unexpected offerings and suppliers, beginning with Crumble Burger. The Crumble Burger is considered by some a Sloppy Joe without the sauce. I call it divine. A heavenly mix of seasoned beef crumbles mounded on a soft potato bun topped with cheese, pickle and yellow mustard. It’s served wrapped like it’s 1930 – is an old school deli tissue paper sleeve. The Fried Bologna is another old school fav along with the classic Reuben, and the pastrami on rye. Both are stacked with genuine delicatessen pastrami and corned beef from Carnegie’s. The legendary deli located just off Manhattan’s theatre district where its authentic deli meats have been the star of the menu since 1937.

If you’re carving something more than pub grub, choose from a roster of soups and salad, or heartier fare as the Fish & Chips served with malt vinegar or a Chicken Pot Pie. All mase from scratch and generously portioned.

The Pitch is open seven days a week and will open at 6:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for fans who follow televised international soccer matches.

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