Velvet Dog

gfv 2:07 pm

400 East 31st St.
Kansas City, Mo.
816-753-9990

One of the hippest looking bars in KC, the Dog is a visual treat for the eyes. Remember to bring your own crowd, because it’s the only way to have a party in this trendy joint. And don’t forget to wear all black, not goth black, just lots of black, you’ll stand out if you don’t. I give Velvet Dog 3rd place in my martini ranking. This used to be a super cool, low key place but then it blew up, and now, if you go
there on a weekend, it looks like someone took a plane-load of L.A.s finest nightcrawlers and dumped them inside. Way too much Maxim Hair Color going on.

Sidekicks Saloon (next to Buddy’s Lounge)

gfv 1:26 pm

3715 Main
Kansas City, Mo.

Who doesn’t like a drunk bunch of gay cowboys? If you’re a man, expect a lot of ass grabbing. If you’re a woman, expect to be pleasantly ignored. This bar was surprisingly large, clean and very nice. We had a good time – the Beer Bust they had going the Friday night we were there was well worth the six bucks (for all you can drink domestics). The drag show is a lot of fun. Some of the performers resembled 50-year-old versions of Kelly Clarkson after a long battle with Twinkies and Popov vodka, but we must keep in mind this IS Kansas City, honey.

Paddy O’Quigley’s (Crossroads area)

gfv 3:07 pm

100 E. 20th St.
Kansas City, Mo.
(816) 842-0400

This giant new version of the old favorite, located right around 20th & Grand in the Crossroads area, is pretty awesome – giant tapable beer towers are available for purchase and when you have one on your table you and your friends look super cool. Warning: the food is not so great here, but after a few towers of beer you’ll hardly notice.

(Kenny’s) Newsroom

gfv 7:47 pm

740 Broadway
Kansas City, Mo.

This is a bar. You know, with stools, some beer, a little liquor, and an old newspaper theme. It’s very quiet. Not much happens around Kenny’s. Perfect for that church group meeting or family outing with the kids. In fact, it’s a lot like Chuck E. Cheese’s, but without all the colors, toys and fun activities.

The Levee

gfv 1:56 pm

16 W 43rd St.
Kansas City, Mo.

Go upstairs. Drink. Drink more. One more. Now, go downstairs and get your groove thing on. You’ll think you’re a God/Goddess. Everyone else will just think you’re drunk. Beware weekends. It gets crowded, crazy and fights break out. Especially when YOU are out there getting your groove thing on. Beautiful outside deck seating behind the upstairs bar.

The Lava Room

gfv 1:53 pm

3810 Broadway
Kansas City, Mo.
816-561-5282

If you are old enough to remember the 70s, and you remember your 28-year-old neighbor who still lived in his parents’ basement and spent his whole paycheck making the “pad” look “really boss,” then you have a good idea what this place looks like. Not a bad niche for enjoying an Old Crow and Coke or a game of pool or just staring shit-stoned at the lava lamps. The real crowd doesn’t show up until
about 10:30 p.m. or later.

Grand Emporium

ike 12:00 pm

3832 Main St., KC, Mo.
816-561-2560

We’re not big fans of the expensive martini bars, but the renovation they’ve done on this place is staggering. It really shouldn’t be called “Grand Emporium” anymore because it’s now an unrecognizable trendy-looking place with a wall of nearly 400 liquors that will blow your mind, some of which were illegally obtained from other galaxies. The music stage has been left exactly the same, and live music is still featured nightly. However, what with the always-present cover charge, the price of drinks and the snotty personnel, this is a costly venture. Anyway, why would anyone mess with the GE? It was perfect the way it was.

The Empire Room

ike 10:03 am

334 E. 31st St., Kansas City, Mo.
816-561-2640

It’s dark, baby. Darth Vader and Marilyn Manson are in the corner talking about the Princess Diaries II, while a DJ in horn rims and a Dead Kennedy’s t-shirt plays The Best of Falco. Trendy and hip, the Empire Room is still a lot of fun. Newly remodeled, the back room is great and can be “borrowed” for various events, like geeky theatre people doing script readings and stuff.

Davey’s Uptown

ike 9:53 am

3402 Main Street, Kansas City, Mo.

One of the best non-drinking stoner bartenders resides here. Tons of live local music, and reasonable drink prices. I am still in shock over the back bar remodel, it was such a dirty little corner of faded memories. But…moving on….

The Bulldog

ike 9:28 am

1715 Main, Kansas City, Mo.

It’s right next door to Bazooka’s, but that’s one of the few high points. Provided you don’t go on a weekend night, this is a perfectly nice bistro for an upscale meal. However, if you want to drink, say on a Friday or Saturday night, hope you’re in the mood to stand (not enough bar seating) and be stared at by snooty old farts, eating dinner at 9 p.m., with too much money and time on their hands. Most of the wait and bar staff is pretty cool, but a few are insufferable snots (especially some of the strippers doing double duty next door).