Jerry's Bait Shop
I can't figure out what it is about Jerry's (in scenic Old Town Lenexa) that still gives me warm fuzzy feelings, yet it does. I've been perusing their website (a little more well done for a small bar) and I can't figure it out. Currently they have a less than impressive array of tap handles, big beer and some of the Boulevard brothers, but nothing inspired, maybe they need a visit from their friendly Schlafly salesman. Yet, 12 years ago, my social life revolved around Jerry's. It was one of those places I could go and I would know 4 or 5 people there. You don't find that often and when you do, you drink there a lot no matter what the beer selection is (that's a lie, if it was only Bud Light I don't think I would go).
Back then Thursday nights were the night to go because Scott Duncan (Scott, get a website) played the background music of my college years (mostly Jimmy Buffett covers but he could play virtually anything you asked him to) and the place was packed. It was so popular Lin Elliot was there one evening (maybe that's not a good thing). I don't have a lot of memories of sitting at the Bait Shop, there were never any tables, we just stood around and spat game at the chickas. It wasn't only a late night spot either, my roommate Red Killian and I went there after work and played darts and ate Pyramid Pizza and enjoyed the hell out of ourselves.
Speaking of Pyramid Pizza, it was the first pizza I encountered where it was recommended that you dip your pizza crust into honey. I believe this is KC style, I haven't run into honey dipping pizza anywhere else, but in KC I can name a couple of places, Papa Keno's being the best, where honey dipping is recommended. Also, why has no one informed me they serve Pyramid at the Levee? Seriously, I'm pissed at all of you now.
Jerry's Bait Shop definitely seems like it's about the same place it was back when I was the holy trinity (young, skinny and single) and I would recommend it if you're looking for someplace to go in Lenexa (you know you want to spend quality time in Lenexa). I stop in when I go to the Lenexa Chili Festival because you definitely need a cold beer to accompany the chili. I don't really have much use for Lenexa anymore and I'm no longer 22 so I don't make it by the ol' Bait Shop much.
Lenexa is home to three pretty good bars/restaurants; Tanner's, Callahan's (home of the 24 oz. mug of beer) and Jerry's. All three were there 12 years ago and are still packing in the crowds. One small warning about the Bait Shop though, you will encounter KU chicks and they are unbearable, so be careful. But on the bright side, they tend to be uninhibited and hot, so you take the good with the bad. Seriously, if I'm recommending a bar that has overcome the stench of KU, bad beer selection and Lin Elliot you probably must go.