When you go east of St. Louis, the number of reputable bars drops off, and there are a ton of sports bars and college pubs that fill in the space without developing their own atmosphere. Friday’s South, located in Collinsville, Illinois, about twenty minutes from St. Louis, is a very good example of a bar that does a lot of things right, and though it’s not a flashy place or a particularly famous or notable local bar, it’s a fun, good place to get a beer if you’re in the area. Here’s a review of Friday’s South bar in Collinsville Illinois.
Beer Selection – From looking at the sportsbar-like outside of Friday’s, you probably wouldn’t think of the joint as a place for beer connoisseurs, but you’d be mistaken. There’s a very decent draft beer selection at Friday’s South, with a few surprises such as Widmer, an incredibly smooth wheat beer, and Schalfly, which is a St. Louis classic. There’s also cheaper beers like Budweiser and Stag, and bottles to meet just about every taste. Prices are very decent, at $2-3 for domestics and a buck more for some of the fancier beers. They’ve got a full wetbar if liquor’s your thing, though you’re out of luck if you’re set on ordering a high-class cocktail.
Food – The food at Friday’s South is some standard greasy bar fare, with great, cheap chicken wings, pizza, burgers, and other standards. It’s worth checking the daily specials, as the deals are usually pretty shocking, for instance 25 cent wings on Mondays or $4 burgers on Tuesdays. Friday’s South is one of the only bars in the area to sell food late into the night, practically to close, so if you’re around Collinsville looking for a bite and you don’t want to patronize one of the dozen fast food restaurants, the food at Friday’s won’t shock you, but it’s good, simple food.
Atmosphere – There are a few televisions around Friday’s South, but it’s not a typical sports bar for a few reasons. First of all, nobody seems to be particularly interested in sports. The focus is more on beer and conversation, and a corner jukebox drowns out the televisions with a mix of standards and hits. There’s a laid back, not at all classy air to the bar, which works well given its location and what it is–just a fun place to get a beer.
Overall, Friday’s South may not be anything special, but that’s not said disparagingly. It’s a good bar that presents itself simply, but has a decent beer selection and more of a unique atmosphere than most bars anywhere close to St. Louis.
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