Thursday, January 3, 2008

Downtown OP Development

On a quick trip over to Penzey's this evening to pick up some taco seasoning, I noticed that Tonic was out of business (Stella informed me it has been closed for a couple of months, but I rarely make it south of 75th Street so it's news to me). This is about the 4th nightclubby type place that has been in that spot, right across the street from Penzey's and the courtyard where the band plays on farmer's market days. None of them memorable, except for maybe the Schoolhouse place, I don't remember the exact name. I always imagined nuns in full habit gear carrying rulers as the waitresses, I didn't think I could go there without being completely turned on and I don't like walking into or out of places with a pitched tent. But, they had a kitchen fire or something and never reopened.

I've always thought that downtown Overland Park needed a brewpub. The Tonic spot is the perfect place. It even looks like a brewpub. Just get 6 or 50 gallon tanks, some sweet brew recipes (I'm looking at you Bad Ben) and spend a couple of grand on decor, including a sweet bar. I'll even pimp the place every chance I get. I'd be one of the best customers. Maybe we can figure out some sweet exemption to the stupid smoking ban in OP, surely a city councilman likes beer enough to sponsor something to exempt places that brew their own beer. Short of that I'm sure that plenty of other people would love a brewpub down there. I can think of nothing better than taking my bags of zuchinni, squash and fresh herbs just purchased from a local farmer on Saturday mornings and starting my afternoon off with a freshly brewed beer.

I can't think of anything better to make Downtown Overland Park work as something other than a daytime marketplace. With The Other Place, Papa Keno's, Penzey's, Big Dave's Liquor, Maloney's and that sweet empty spot that was ravaged by fire, which could be used a smoker's beer garden if my city councilman bribes don't work, Downtown OP could be a pretty cool place for families and a 30 somethings. I think this is a no lose proposition. Let's get this done Kansans!


  1. Tonic has been closed for quite a while. My sister-in-law actually did the design of the place after the Schoolhouse burnt down. The Schoolhouse was quite awesome, and the only time I went there I walked away with alcohol poisening. It was a bad day for the empire.

    Did you see the concept art of what they are planning on building down there? Mainly the standard lofts/apartments on top of stores thing. It looks fairly cool and no doubt part of what OP started in that area when they built the new community center.

  2. Like I said, I don't go south very often, and don't drive down that block when I do cross 75th.

    I took part in those surveys of what they wanted to do with Metcalf. As part of that I saw they wanted to build lofts on top of stuff. As with everything down there I would be worried about being ravaged by fire. But, it would be cool to have some people living on the block down there.

    A brewpub would be the perfect addition to the area. We could even buy the brew tanks at River Market Brewery, they're just being wasted there.

  3. Not a bad idea, but I find myself turned off by places with lots of smoke. At the blogger meet-up at the 75th st. Brewery I didn't have a problem bringing my daughter - the place didn't stink. I am not an anti-smoking activist, I used to smoke myself, I just don't visit places where I can't breathe. If a bar maintains OK air, I'd probably show up few times a month.Maybe an ownership scheme similar to GB Packers would work.

  4. Tonic is only 5 minutes from our place, and we went there one night to meet up with friends that never showed up.

    I didn't like it. It was full of metrosexuals (not that I have anything against them, but just not my style), the music was too loud, and I wanted to get out of there as soon as I stepped in.

    Just a couple of weeks later, it was closed.

  5. Meesha - the smoke bothers me a little bit too, but I like property rights and think owners should be able to decide what goes on in their place. 75th Street is often smoke filled, yet I continue to go.

    Bea - I agree Tonic brought in the wrong kind of crowd. A brewpub would be good. The Bull E. Vard mansion is only 5 minutes from there. Maybe we're neighbors.

  6. Bull E, it is funny when you talk on the third person... and yea the place sucked. It was half empty when we were there and you could not have a conversation if you wanted to. I have not been to a club here in KC but I am curious to compare them to the ones I used to go to in Chicago back in the club days... I do prefer pubs now, lets hope for one.

  7. I have always thought that old downtown OP would be the perfect place for a brewpub. The neighborhood has always had the "feel" of a brewpub area.

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  9. Lee, I think I'll be alright as long as they're not dressed like nuns. It's the nuns that do it for me, not the schoolgirls.