After a cafe near the northeast corner of Lafayette Park in St. Louis closed, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar filled the vacancy in 2004.
To complement other restaurants nearby, owners Dave and Kara Bailey wanted to elevate the dining experience by specializing in beautiful desserts and signature cocktails.
“(We see) folks come in for anything from a date to a celebration to just an evening night out where they would like to indulge themselves and have delicious cocktails and drinks,” Kara Bailey said.
As the business grew, so did their ability to create more menu options. They added seasonal items — such as ice cream martinis for the summerand warm martinis in the winter.
Still, their staples remain the most popular. These include Baileys’ Brownie, which is topped with Irish cream and salted caramel sauce, and the Royale, a brownie or blondie topped with caramelized banana, homemade vanilla ice cream and toasted nuts.
Their chocolate martinis — a mixture of chocolate, chocolate vodka and chocolate liqueur or Irish cream — have also been on the menu since day one. They come in a signature variety, as well as very dark and milk chocolate. The ability to make all of these items in house gives them a fresher flavor, Kara Bailey said.
“We want to provide not just a good meal or dessert from somebody, but we really want to make sure that your experience overall is positive and enjoyable,” Bailey said.
Lafayette Square is a residential neighborhood. In the center is Lafayette Park. Park Avenue — which runs along the park‘s northern border — is a part of the neighborhood’s business strip.
Baileys’ Chocolate Bar fits in among the coffee shops and lunch and dinner restaurants by offering drinks and desserts.
When guests first arrive at the location, they’re met by a stairwell that goes up to Baileys’ Chocolate Bar. The restaurant is lit with vintage chandeliers and candles, creating a more intimate atmosphere.
There are red velvet drapes over the windows, and vintage gold mirrors decorate the wall.
Bailey said the decadence of the dessert is reflected in the decor and comes together to create the comfort theBaileys hope to offer.
Because of the pandemic, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar had to consolidate with Pop, the restaurant on the building’s main level, which is also owned by the Baileys. Pop serves dinner and sparkling drinks, such as champagne and sparkling wines, ciders and beers.
Bailey said it was common for guests to go there for pasta, burgers, ribs or chicken before heading up to Baileys’ Chocolate Bar for dessert and post-dinner drinks. As more people become fully vaccinated, the Baileys hope to return the chocolate bar to the top floor and to its own separate menu.
“Because of the way that the menu is set up, somebody can come in for dinner and dessert or just dessert or cocktails.It’s fun to see the different types of people and what they come in for,” Bailey said.