Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Posted by Bull E. Vard
I had no idea what to expect from the Clarette Club in Mission. I've been passing by there for months now on my way home from Batson's. Judging by the name, I could imagine the Clarette Club was some sort of wine or jazz bar. From the demographics of Mission, I thought it might be some sort of dive bar like The Stables. The point is, I thought it could have been anything, I've never heard anyone speak of it and I've never heard anyone actually going there.
The Clarette Club is on the back side of the Mission Mart, across Martway from the Mission Bowl. I made my way over after I picked up some vino from Batson's. The first thing I noticed on my way in were signs proclaiming the Clarette Club a smoking establishment. I'll bet that scares away the do-gooders. I walked in and was greeted by the Clarette's most loyal customer, smoke, the sweet smell of freedom. Once again I was going to be in a bar where I was the only one not smoking.
Amazingly for 4:45 in the afternoon, the bar area was full. I had to sit on the back side of the horseshoe shaped bar in an area that could be called "no man's land". I was amazed at the size of the place. Eleven or so pool tables, several video games and 5 or so dartboards made up the back end of the bar. Of all the things I've imagined the Clarette Club, a pool hall was not one of them.
I know one thing the Clarette Club is not, a beer paradise. I had the wonderful selection of 4 beers on tap; Bud Light, Miller Lite, Boulevard Wheat and something atrocious. I asked the bartender when he finally got to no man's land what the special of the day was. Boulevard bottles for $2.75 was the answer. Not much of a special in my book, but I went with a Boulevard Pale Ale. He grabbed the bottle and placed it in front of me sans glass. I asked for a glass and got a quizzical stare for a split second and voila he just appeased the snob and grabbed me a glass. I had to pour my beer myself, but what he hell, I can do some pouring.
The crowd was a pretty average one overall. I would say, the average person in the bar was a little over 40. It's tough for me to tell age with smokers. For a room full of 40 year olds, I would expect a little better bar talk than problems with lawn mowing and lawn services, but that is what I was treated to.
I was not really into the place and drank my beer pretty quickly so I could leave. I understand from the number of pool tables and such that the Clarette is probably big for pool leagues and dart leagues. I've never been a schedule type of person so I've never been in any kind of dart league or anything. I'm not really into playing games in bars, though I love darts, I prefer to just sit and discuss the topics of the day. I saw several signs for the karaoke night on Saturdays. I would say the Clarette is the Mission equivalent to Boomer's in the Northland.
They have better shirts at the Clarette. My bartender was wearing a shirt that said "Have a sleazy good time". They also have a shirt that says "We're so politically incorrect, we stink". I appreciate a bar that will goes out on a limb and advertises they don't want the do-gooders spending money in their establishment. I imagine that if Mission ever passes a smoking ban then the Clarette's days are numbered. But for now, they should advertise a little more about their proximity to the cities of Kansas City and Overland Park and reap the benefits of freedom.