There’s no denying the fundamental connection between expending energy and then replenishing it. A handful of local cafes and bars have taken that concept and run with it, providing welcoming spaces for great food and drink, along with encouraging an active outdoor lifestyle. Here’s a look at five of them:

Bike Stop Café
Bike Stop Cafe in St. Charles, Mo.
Just steps from the Katy Trail in St. Charles, this bustling café with spacious river-view patio has been serving healthy and natural menu choices since 2010. A selection of beer and wine is a newer addition, or choose a freshly made coffee, tea or smoothie. An on-site bike shop offers full services as well as bike sales, rentals and shuttles, and weekly events. Owners Tony Caruso and Jodi Devonshire recently opened a second Bike Stop Café at the Taubman Prestige Outlets in Chesterfield (a rideable 18 miles away from the original) and also operate the Bike Stop Outpost, a retail store with cycling, running and adventure gear and apparel.

Boathouse Forest Park
Boathouse Forest Park
Boating in Forest Park has been a tradition since 1876. The Boathouse carries forward this leisurely pastime with paddleboat rentals from its lakeside dock and patio dining area. The menu here consists of casual American fare (burgers, sandwiches, salads and soups) as well as Sunday brunch and special offerings like a summer shrimp boil with suds from Schlafly Beer. A new feature: The Boathouse is now selling street tacos and snack boxes at its lakeside bar — perfect for on-the-go recreationalists. During colder months, enjoy indoor dining or a glass of wine around the big wood-burning fireplace.

Cursed Bikes & Coffee
Cursed Bikes & Coffee
Customers can sit right at the hand-crafted wood bar, sip their artisan coffee or Italian soda, and watch owner Jeff Gerhardt make a repair or complete a new build. Cursed Bikes & Coffee is a recent addition to the local outdoor community, offering a large patio and fresh indoor space on the corner of Pershing and Jackson avenues in University City. Along with beverages, the shop features baked good from Dottie’s Flour Shop and has subleased part of its space to Taco Buddha. Services include bike rentals, new bike sales and custom frames built by Gerhardt.

Felix’s Pizza Pub
Felix's Pizza Pub
A few minutes from Forest Park in the lively Dogtown neighborhood, Felix’s Pizza Pub pays homage to cyclists with old bikes hanging from the rafters and handlebars mounted on the walls like horns. Co-owners Steve VanderKolb and Tom Galbraith are both cycling enthusiasts, and it shows. The menu includes inventive specialty pizzas, as well as finger-licking appetizers, salads, sandwiches and tacos. Choose from 21 draft beers — many of which are local — and a variety of craft cans and domestic bottles. A covered patio has a full bar, four beers on tap, and 55- and 50-inch TVs.

HanbleBar in The Grove
Tatyana Telnikova loves the feeling of freedom that bicycling brings, so when she opened her neighborhood watering hole in the Grove, she knew just what the theme would be. HandleBar promotes cycling to its patrons right down to murals on the walls and the sprockets lacquered into the bar. But it’s not just surface appeal: The tavern hosts group rides, virtual bike races (called Bike Blitzes) and is a co-producer of the St. Louis World Naked Bike Ride. The food here includes Russian-inspired dishes as well as pizzas, with 20 beers on tap to wash them down.

[author] [author_info]Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of Terrain Magazine[/author_info] [/author]