Baileys' Range is a downtown St. Louis burger and shakes place with a little something extra.
The beef is grass fed. The ice cream is homemade. So are the condiments. Onion rings, $7, arrive stacked into twin towers. They're cold-smoked, beer-batter fried and served with chipotle mayonnaise.
At Baileys', the PB&J is a pesto-topped bison burger, $11, with Missouri goat cheese and homemade tomato jam. The Carolina burger, $10, is a beef patty with house-smoked pork shoulder, creamy slaw and Carolina barbecue sauce.
"This is our fourth restaurant," said owner Dave Bailey, 35. "We also own Baileys' Chocolate Bar, Rooster, and Bridge Tap House, one block to the north. Rooster is one block west and the chocolate bar is in Lafayette Square.
"Between the four, we served about 400,000 people last year."
Baileys' Range, the biggest, opened a year and a half ago at Olive and Ninth streets in what was once the Southwestern Bell building.
"It's been many things over the years," said Dave, "a furniture store, office supply store. Before me, it was a grocery store."
The corner restaurant has a fun decor. Big posters of ice cream treats decorate walls. Stained glass windows hang from ceiling chains opposite a long bar. Choose to sit in the balcony above where you can people watch, inside and out, at the bar or at a 40-seat communal table on the main floor.
Table lights are made from recycled milk jars.
"We found them in a warehouse on North Broadway, cleaned them, cut out the bottom, welded hardware, and turned them into light fixtures."
Customers come from near and far, including those Dave refers to as local tourists.
"They live within an hour, will drive in for baseball game and we'll become part of that trip for them."
A steady stream of folks kept servers busy on a mid-Friday afternoon. Janae Morales, and daughter Avery, 14, and friends Kim O'Leary and daughter, Paige, 15, were in from Kansas City, Mo., for a volleyball tournament.
"We wanted something a little unique," said Janae, seated at the restaurant's long communal table. "lt was very good. We'd rate it very high."
They tried the veggie burger, $9, a black bean and chipotle patty, with apple-jalapeno salsa and cranberry sour cream, and the Buffalo, $10, a ground chicken patty, with buffalo hot sauce, cheddar, bacon and ranch dressing.
"Paige went out on a limb," said Kim, her mom. "She's very picky and she ate every bite of her food."
Behind the ice cream counter, server Jocelyn Edwards poured a creamy vanilla milkshake. Her favorites are pistachio or cookies 'n' cream.
"I used to not be a milkshake person until I started working here," she said. "Now I think it's the ultimate way to eat ice cream."
The restaurant also serves snacks, such as pretzels with house cheese sauce, $6; sides such as chips, fries and slaw, $2, and salads. Warm kale is topped with roasted Roma tomatoes, basil croutons, garlic, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, half, $5; whole, $9.
Sodas, $2-$2.50, both bottle and draft, include Ski Citrus, Sioux City Sarsaparilla and Frostie Orange. Wine and beer, mostly local, are also available.
Or, you might want to try a boozie concoction.
"We do boozie shakes and boozie lemonade," said Dave "as well as boozie ice teas to make it feel like it's summertime all the time in the restaurant."
Almong the favorites are the strawberry basil lemonade, $9, made with vodka, basil, simple syrup and strawberry nectar, and a shake, made with bourbon, salted caramel ice cream and candied bacon.
"We call it the Sweet Sweet Bacon," said Dave, who wandered into the restaurant business. After graduating from St. Louis University, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do.
"I started waiting ables as a way to pay bills. I changed from one restaurant to another if I wanted to go on a road trip. It stuck. I really loved it. I stopped taking time off. I had two or three jobs at the time. I worked 80 to 90 hours a week. I realized I wanted to do this as a career. Those types of hours are what you have to do.
"I knew I wanted to be in business world. I wanted it to be somewhat artistic. This has been the perfect outlet for that."
Baileys' Range is close to his heart.
"This restaurant has a few of the things I love. It's food for both adults and children. It's comfortable. They can enjoy the space."
Part of the reason he serves grass-fed beef is because that's what he grew up eating.
"Twice a year, we'd drive over into Illinois with a trailer attached to the van," he said, "and buy an entire cow, a pig and several dozen chickens. We had a relationship with farmers over there. We'd drive back as fast as we could."
The name "Baileys' Range" combines Davie's name with a play on words. "The 'Range' is for free range, the range we cook on and the range of different burgers," he said. "It's a wink and a nod to all those kinds of things."
At a glance:
What: Baileys' Range
Where: 920 Olive St., St. Louis
Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays
Seating: 200 inside; 50 outside
Handicapped accessible: If you want to eat upstairs, an elevator accommodates wheelchairs and strollers.
Information: 314 241-8121 or www.baileysrange.com