Wes, Chambord and I were lucky enough to get invited to tour the Power & Light District before the first bar opens on Friday. We met the group outside of McFaddens which is on Grand right across the street from the Sprint Center box office. While we were waiting for the tour to start we got to watch the construction crews start to hang the McFaddens sign.We started off the tour by going into the nearly completed McFaddens, did I mention they're opening Friday. The crews were working feverishly to get everything done and ready to go. McFaddens is going to be a pretty standard sports bar, but much shinier and a couple of somewhat unique features. One of the unique features is an auxiliary bar which can be rented to host special events and fundraisers. The area around the auxiliary bar can be roped off easily or, if there are no special events, is part of the rest of the bar.We walked through McFaddens to the back doors which leads to the KC Live area. The tour guides informed us of the coolest part of the Power and Light District, you can buy your beer at McFaddens or any other bar and go out to the courtyard with it or go into another bar in the district. The KC Live block has or will have McFaddens, Vinino (an Italian restaurant), the Flying Sauce Draught Emporium (I love this place, it's where I go when we visit my brother in law in Fort Worth), Gordon-Biersch and the newly announced (today in fact)Raglan Road Irish pub. The view from the McFaddens patio is pictured below.At the south end of the KC Live block is a stage where the tour guides said would have free concerts nearly every weekend. Atop the block is a one of a kind (in America at least) tarp type thing that would remind one of downtown Vegas except it is nearly see-through. The tarp's purpose is somewhat unclear to me because I wasn't paying attention but I think it will keep the rain and snow off the crowds and keep some of the heat inside the courtyard which will extend the number of days the KC Live block will be viable as an outdoor venue. The courtyard is also tiered which makes it available to rent a tier for an evening to host an event. Several bars are also located on the second floor of the KC Live block buildings, the Mosaic Lounge, Tengo Sed Cantina and Howl at the Moon (a piano bar) all have balconies overlooking the courtyard. This is by far the coolest block of the Power and Light district. I snapped some pictures of the area earlier in the evening.On we went over to 14th Street, what they're calling, restaurant row. It can't be half as good as the original restaurant row at 39th and State Line. At 14th and Wyandotte (the white building below) will be the Bristol. The tour guides said a couple of other white tablecloth restaurants will be on each side of the Bristol but Cordish isn't ready to announce the names yet.
Across the street from the Bristol will be Cordish's gift to me, Chipotle. You don't know how many times I'm sitting at my desk wanting Chipotle but their is no Chipotle to be had. I believe I startled the group when the tour guide said the Chipotle was going in and I exclaimed "Thank God!!" (it was a rather quiet group). At 14th and Main, will be the restored AMC theater. You can see the theater in the picture above (the domed looking building).
We finished up at 13th and Main in front of the H&R Block Center. Across Main from the Block Center is going to be a retail area, housing a Jos. A Bank, but no other tenants have been announced yet. Across 13th will be the downtown residents' dream, a Consentino's market. I love the Brookside Market from when I worked on the Plaza and I'm really looking forward to the Consentino's Downtown Market.
I love downtown and I hope more people make it downtown to drink some beer. As we've written on this blog for months now there are already many great bars in the downtown area for when you come down for a concert. If it takes the KC Live block to get people downtown to drink some beer, so be it. I'm going to have a good time at the Flying Saucer and Gordon-Biersch for many years to come. Also, this tour ended right around 7:00, 3o minutes before the Garth Brooks concert started. When we got to my car, which was parked in the garage right across the street from the Sprint Center, underneath the KC Live block, nary a car was to be found. Below is a picture taken to show how empty the lot is, and by the way there are 5 levels below this one. Parking is NOT a problem downtown.
Update: I mistakenly called 14th Street 12th Street. This has been updated in the text.