Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's a Different Kind of Bar, Charlie Brown

This afternoon saw my first-ever visit to The Peanut, at 51st and Main just south of the Plaza. Ward Parkway and I decided to enjoy some pints and order their "famous" super-jumbo chicken wings. I'd heard rumors of the size of the wings at The Peanut, but I was not prepared for how big they actually were (I'm sure there's a dirty joke in here somewhere, but I'm not feeling it). W.P. ordered twelve of the wings, which I'd assumed would be a mere appetizer. I was mistaken. Between the two of us, we only managed to finish EIGHT of them. Seriously. Big. Wings. Ostrich, perhaps?

In glancing around the room, W.P. noted that, "it looks like some of the customers from the Peanut's original Grand Opening are still here..." Lots of old-timers!

The best part about the trip to the bar was the bartender. He was a gruff man, with a serious grasp on the lunchtime crowd. I think he was the only person working the bar AND the floor, and doing everything with a pretty pleasant attitude. We counted, at one time, 33 people under his watchful eye. He was careful to make sure everyone had food and beer.

A mother and her two kids, I assume--but they could very well have been kids she was babysitting--walked into the bar. It sounds like the start of a joke, but there really isn't a joke here. The bartender didn't miss a beat and asked the kids if they wanted some matches to play with. Hilarious! I mean, shouldn't a bar have some spare coloring books on hand? The mom replied that they'd probably be just as happy with a beer. Can you dig that?! These kids are gonna be some warped 3rd graders (next year)...

There were several "NO SMOKING" signs posted around the bar on the walls, but there were ash trays out for people to use. There was also a lone guy at the end of the bar smoking away. I guess the new smoking ban didn't affect him much. Nobody seemed to notice (or care for that matter).

A Peanut fan named "Crockett" had this to say (about what he claims is) KC's oldest bar:

"The Peanut offers a look back into how bars used to be. Especially on Main street. Serving up some of the best BLT's and chicken wings (ah, the wings are the best) anywhere, The Peanut is a must visit for any one visiting KC. The beer is cold, the food is excellent and the ambiance fits every walk of life."

So grab your children and head to The Peanut! (But bring your own coloring books unless they like to play with matches.)


  1. KC's oldest bar? Kelly's has been around for 60 years. Pics on their website prove it.

    The Point opened in the early 1960's (although it has changed hands a few times.) My mom used to go there when she was in her 20's. She's in her 60's now.

    The Twin Cities Tavern has also been around for quite some time.

    I don't disagree that it's been around for a while. I just dispute the title of "KC oldest bar."

    It's a really good time on Memorial Day. They put a tent out back and bring in a beer truck.

  2. Yeah, I'll have to see what more I can find out about that. I'd read it in the Pitch once, that The Peanut holds the city's oldest continually-issued liquor license, but I guess that doesn't automatically make it the "oldest" bar.

  3. Just popped into the peanut yesterday for lunch and beer. I would have warned you about the chicken wings if you asked. I'll see if i can leverage my research skills into verifying its age claim to fame as well.

  4. The Peanut is the kind of place where the air conditioner drips on you (if your in the back corner) and you don't care.

  5. One of the best. Don't go to one of the other locations expecting the same. The old owner, Rich was always quick to greet a new guest with a "What the F do you want." Unfortunately he recently passed away, but his family has kept the place moving. You gotta try the Triple BLT next time. And with Maibock on tap right now its a good drinking place as well.

  6. Well, Kelly's is almost certainly the oldest building in Kansas City. It began as Boone's trading post in 1850 but was a fully functioning tavern by 1936.

    But the Peanut at 50th and Main is indeed the oldest continuously operating tavern in the city, obtaining the first post-prohibition liquor license in 1933. Check out this Charles Feruzza article for the scoop.

  7. Thanks, DLC! That was a great link to some of KC's early bar history!

  8. Everytime I go to the Peanut, my 84 year old grandma asks if they still throw the peanut shells on the floor. I know she hung out there more than 60 years ago. Also I think a big contribution to my husband falling in love with me is that I introduced him to the best wings in the world. He'd eat them tree times a day if I let him. And it must be noted that part of what makes the wings soooo good is the blue cheese dressing - the hint of cilantro and red onion makes it far superior to any other, as far as I'm concerned.