ST. LOUIS • For a rooftop bar with unobstructed views in all directions, Three Sixty is a logical name.
That's what the owner of the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark is calling the 275-seat lounge it hopes to open by July 1. Full construction is scheduled to begin next week.
"This bar will be out there with the top rooftop bars in the country," said Steve O'Loughlin, president of Lodging Hospital Management Inc., owner of the 675-room hotel downtown.
Costing $7 million, Three Sixty will sit atop the hotel's 25-story east tower at Market Street and Broadway, two blocks north of Busch Stadium. If they are not gazing at the Arch and downtown buildings, bar-goers will be able to peer into the stadium.
The Four Seasons Hotel has an eighth-floor lounge that includes outdoor seating, but the Ballpark Hilton will be alone with a rooftop drinking establishment downtown. Hotel analyst Gary Andreas, owner of H&H Financial Group in Chesterfield, noted that, for now, the city's only rooftop hotel bar is at the Moonrise in the Delmar Loop.
He said the Ballpark Hilton is fortunate to be the only downtown hotel with enough roof space free of mechanical equipment to accommodate a large bar. Andreas said Three Sixty will increase the hotel's attractiveness.
"It's something to add to what they already have," he said. "It would be a huge gamble to do this as an effort to turn around a struggling property."
Andreas added that St. Louis "is a bit at the early end" of a trend of rooftop hotel bars across the country.
O'Loughlin said Three Sixty's inspiration comes from the rooftop lounge at theWit Hotel in Chicago. LHM picked theWit lounge's developer, Concentrics Restaurants of Atlanta, to develop Three Sixty.
To be open year round, two-thirds of Three Sixty will be enclosed, although customers will still have clear views in every direction. Flat-screen TVs, indoor and outdoor bars and fire pits will be among Three Sixty's features. A 'small plates" menu also is planned.
O'Loughlin said the bar's outdoor section will be on the roof's south side, facing Busch Stadium. He said he was unconcerned that development of Ballpark Village, which lies between the hotel and the stadium, might someday block the view from Three Sixty.
Andreas said such a concern is warranted.
"I'm sure, eventually, Ballpark Village will obscure at least part of the view they will have," he said.