Sunday, December 14, 2008

The K.C. Bucket List

Bull E. Vard and I were invited to Adrian's Cafe in Overland Park today by our pal Owen of the Pitch. His family owns the restaurant chain, and since it’s closed on Sundays, he asked us to join him for an “after hours” beer tasting and warm, chocolate chip cookies! What a swell guy! He also invited others which included Chimpotle, Gone Mild and his wife (all of whom supplied some of the beers – thanks, guys!).

We enjoyed the afternoon of beer sampling which included the new Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut and Christmas Ale (which was heavy on the cloves…), New Belgium Frambozen, and the Ommegang Abbey Ale (which was one of my favorites of the afternoon). The BBQ was ok, but VERY thick. “Not that I don’t like them thick,” but this was a really heavy beer. I wish Abbey Ale was there to try them with us, as she always has an interesting take on the different beer styles…

During our afternoon of debauchery, Chimpotle, Owen, Gone Mild and his wife, and I decided to create a Bucket List, of sorts, of Kansas City-area bars that everyone should enjoy while they are enjoying their life-long trips around the sun. Bull E. Vard joined us later on in the afternoon to add his feedback. He agreed, for the most part, on what the five of us developed as the “Top Ten Essential Bars for the Ultimate K.C. Bar Experience.” In no particular order (as a bucket list should have none, since they all should be tried before death) are:

1. The Phoenix Jazz Bar
2. Harry’s Country Club
3. Waldo Pizza Tap Room
4. 75th Street Brewery
5. Harling's Upstair’s Bar & Grill
6. Davey's Uptown
7. Pierpont’s (at Union Station)
8. Harry’s Bar and Tables
9. The Peanut (at 50th and Main)
10. O’Malley’s underground Irish bar in Weston

We have come to the consensus that the aforementioned bars should be on EVERYONE’S Kansas City “Bucket List.” Get there before you kick the bucket, for the ultimate K.C. bar experience! Granted—we also agreed that there was no way that we could possibly put all of the great KC bars into ONE top ten list. The ones we came up with were a mere suggestion.

Honorable mention included:

1. Grinder’s (although we concurred that it’s more of a restaurant than a bar…)
“Either that’s the worst B.O. I’ve ever smelled, or that’s some delicious chili!”
2. The Cashew
3. The Brick
4. Skies (the spinning restaurant on top of the midtown Hyatt)
5. Chappell’s (in North KC)

And MY PERSONAL suggestions for honorable mention are: John's Big Deck, Westport Flea Market, and Lew's Bar and Grill.

If you never make it a point to cross off every bar above on the “Essential K.C. Bucket List,” at least go have lunch at Adrian’s CafĂ©. They will treat you well, and you will LOVE the reasonable prices and good, fresh, food.


  1. I can't believe your list doesn't include the Cigar Box! That is inexcusable.

  2. i had no idea that Owen had any connection to Adrian's. It's a very good lunch spot and I'd go there more often if it wasn't for the location.

    All that being said, Dave's Stagecoach totally belongs on your list.

  3. Damn, I am way behind. I have only hit one of the top ten and 2 of the honorable mention.

    Guess I got some drinking to do before I die.