The Other Place
The easiest joke in the world is saying "let's go to the Other Place" to someone who doesn't know Overland Park. Those words always get you a follow up question, which I guess is what is intended. The Other Place is nestled in the firetrap downtown Overland Park and it has nearly everything you would want in a bar. It is missing a red headed bearded bartender (to the best of my knowledge), but they make up for it by having a great menu and great beer selection.
I'm always reminded of the great ice storm of 2002 when most of KC was shut down for at least one evening. I didn't have electricity nor did anyone else living north of downtown Overland Park, of course my neighborhood more closely resembled a forest so power outages were not too uncommon. When I got home from work and found no electricity I hopped in the car and drove 3 miles per hour south where they didn't get it as bad. About an hour later (unfortunately only about 25 blocks) I saw lights in downtown OP, I was saved, The Other Place was open. I was so worried I was only going to be offered electricity at Chili's or McDonald's or some other horrible place. The bad news was, everyone else in town was also at The Other Place.
The Other Place is pretty big and the walls are covered in TVs. I remember that night I watched quite a bit of Michael Jordan playing with the Wizards, perhaps the only time I ever saw that sight, it was not impressive. I also remember the great taps they had for a 5 degree evening. Newcastle on tap, in my mind, is a sign of class. Guinness on tap is expected as is at least 2 of the Boulevard brothers. But to also have Sam Adams and a couple of New Belgiums gives the discerning beer drinker such as myself many great choices and only a couple of bad ones, the Bud brothers. On this night I went with heavy English, the Newcastle - Guinness tag team. I also had myself a pizza, thinking that I had at least a dinner and a lunch the next day (my city survival skills are legendary). Pizzas are great at The OP, not as good as Papa Keno's down the street, but good enough (more pizza blogging here, here and here). I've never had a bad meal at the OP, the hot sausage sandwich (which is the greatest name in the world for a sandwich) is good as is the pork tenderloin sandwich (I really don't have a cholesterol problem). Sandwiches and burgers may get the nod on an evening where you're looking for good fries because they have good seasoned crinkle fries.
Ice storm night also brought out the single ladies. In atypical OP fashion the girls were flying solo and not in packs and if you had electricity you were going to have company for the evening. Like I said, I had no electricity, but I was wondering if I could go get a room at the White Haven, it was only a couple of blocks away and with the wonderful work the road crews were doing, the drive would only take 10 minutes. No chance of getting a room with electricity anywhere in town on this night. So I guarded my coveted spot at the bar (I always like to sit by the taps, there's something poetic about watching the birth of a new pint of beer) and nursed a couple of drinks until it was time to make the long trek home.
Every time I've been back I've felt unfulfilled, though I'm sure it's no fault of The Other Place, I'm convinced it's because of that cold night in 2002 when I went home alone to a cold dark home not knowing when I would feel the gentle heat of electricity.
Note: It is not my intent to be offensive with the happy hour picture below. If you find it offensive put your thumb over the Jayhawk and everything will be ok. Thank you for your cooperation.