United States News Missouri Get your ballot notarized for free and then treat...

Get your ballot notarized for free and then treat yourself at these 6 local restaurants and shops

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With the 2020 general election now less than 20 days away, it’s time to get your absentee and mail-in ballots notarized, St. Louis. In order to vote absentee in Missouri, you must claim one of seven reasons—including being out of town on Election Day, religious belief or practice, or “incapacity or confinement due to illness or physical disability”—and five of the seven reasons require a notary. Meanwhile, all mail-in ballots in Missouri require a notary.

The good news: The Missouri Secretary of State’s office has compiled a list of some 147 notaries in the St. Louis area who have volunteered to notarize absentee and mail-in ballots for free. You can also have your ballot notarized at more than 100 local eateries, cafés, retail shops, religious institutions, and other spots around town. 

The (possible) bad news: The deadline for requesting an absentee or mail-in ballot to be received by the election authority is Wednesday, October, 21. That means if you haven’t requested your ballot yet, do so today! We’re not above sharing the same link three times in as many paragraphs.

To make the notarizing process even easier (and more fun), we’ve compiled a list of six local restaurants, cafés, and retail shops where St. Louis voters can get their ballots notarized for free. After making sure your vote counts in the general election this year, indulge in some snacks or retail therapy. This information comes courtesy of the STL Notary Coordination, which instructs voters to wear a face mask, bring your ID, pen and ballot, including its return envelope. 

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1. Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop

What: As its name suggests, an adorable coffee and garden shop

Where: 803 Marshall, Webster Groves

When: Saturday, October 17, 9–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m.

Saturday, October 24, 9 –11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m.

Why: Serving Blueprint Coffee drinks and Big Heart Tea Co. teas, Maypop also sources pastries from Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop for customers. Pair an espresso with a seasonal sugar cookie shaped like a ghost and then browse the plentiful plant selection.

2. Apotheosis Comics & Lounge

What: An independently owned comic book shop 

Where: 3206 S. Grand

When: Friday, October 16, 5–7 p.m.

Saturday, October 17, 5–7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20, 1–3 p.m.

Thursday, October 22, 1–3 p.m.

Friday, October 23, 5–7 p.m.

Saturday, October 24, 5–7 p.m.

Why: Come to get your ballot notarized and stay for the thousands of comic-book and graphic novel titles lining the shelves. Nosh while you shop with a coffee, craft beer, or snack from the store’s welcoming lounge and bar area.

3. Urban Eats Cafe

What: A sunny café in Dutchtown

Where: 3301 Meramec  

When: Friday, October 16, 4–6 p.m.

Sunday, October 18, 4–6 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21, 1–3 p.m.

Thursday, October 22, 1–3 p.m.

Friday, October 23, 4–6 p.m.

Why: Urban Eats Cafe has been serving delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare in Dutchtown for more than a decade. After you’ve had your ballot notarized for free, grab a build-your-own panini, wrap, flatbread pizza, or rice bowl, one of the house specialties. If you’re able to linger for a house cocktail or a glass of wine, all the better.

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4. Bespoke

What: A creative custom clothing shop and showroom

Where: 2650 Cherokee

When: Sunday, October 18, 5–7 p.m.

Monday, October 19, 5–7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20, 5–7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21, 5–7 p.m.

Why: Bespoke has offered made-to-order dresses and other garments since owner Dorothy Jones opened the shop on Cherokee Street in 2014. Jones has been making face masks during the pandemic, as well, and now, you can stop in, shop the samples in her showroom, and get your ballot notarized for free.  

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5. The Pat Connolly Tavern 

What: A beloved neighborhood pub in Dogtown

Where: 6400 Oakland

When: Friday, October 16, 5–7 p.m.

Saturday, October 17, 3–5 p.m.

Sunday, October 18, noon–2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21, 5–7 p.m.

Friday, October 23, 5–7 p.m.

Saturday, October 24, 3–5 p.m.

Sunday, October 25, noon–2 p.m.

Why: For the past 75 years, this tavern at 6400 Oakland has served pints and traditional pub fare in Dogtown. The Pat Connolly Tavern is known for its Irish-inspired charm, but don’t miss the fried chicken, which is a house specialty. The dining room and upstairs remain closed due to the pandemic, yet the pub’s outdoor “Pat-io” is open for customers, as is curbside pickup. 

6. Union Loafers

What: A bread bakery and café serving Old World–style loaves and café eats

Where: 1629 Tower Grove

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When: Tuesday, October 20, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 

Wednesday, October 21, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 

Thursday, October 22, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 

Why: Routinely rated one of the best bread bakeries in St. Louis, this Botanical Heights spot serves a range of Old World–style breads and fresh lunch and dinner fare. The Light and Mild sourdough is a must-try loaf, but whatever you order, you really can’t go wrong at Union Loafers. We also love the Little Gem Salad, Kale & Garbanzo Soup, and Smoked Beet Sandwich—after all, fulfilling your civic responsibility can really work up an appetite.

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