5 Local Spots Industry Folks Can’t Stay Away From
When Andrew Olsen isn’t mixing up some of the most inventive cocktails in town behind the bar at Bluestem, or traveling the country competing at major competitions, you’ll find him at these industry favorite watering holes.
Harry’s Bar and Tables - When traveling around the United States for various work related events, THIS is the bar I talk about with my peers more than anything. Most often speaking to the pressed white shirts behind the bar, the neighborhood atmosphere (no matter how “shoulder-to-shoulder” it may seem), and the efficiency at which the staff works. The beer is always cold, your beverage napkin is always fresh, and the Horsefeather is one of the greatest year round cocktails. What’s a Horsefeather you ask? Well, let me tell you: rye whiskey, Barritt’s ginger beer, Angostura bitters, and a lemon wedge. This cocktail is as spicy and not too sweet. Refreshing patio pounder on any summer evening and a winter warmer for those grippingly chilly nights. Did I mention they serve food until 2 am every...single...night?! Word on the street is one of the staff member’s mother makes all the desserts. And, definitely don’t sleep on the Cajun chicken tacos or house salad–add blackened chicken and cranberry port vinaigrette for the perfect patio meal.
Tower Tavern - I’m a sucker for Busch beer. Call me crazy or whatever but it’s so nostalgic. This beer’s definition should just be “Nascar and rural”. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Tower Tavern has to offer. It’s the bar we refer to as the “Home away from home”. Walk in, and Jared waves at you from behind the bar with a massive smile. Just before you get to the stool he has your favorite beer in a koozie, food menu placed beside it, and an extended hand ready for a friendly shake. Food is lights out, too. Sliders, chicken pesto sandwich, and stromboli are just a few of the items you’ll be eating just after your Royals outing or Chiefs game. Side note: This is the bar that I watched the 2015 Kansas City Royals clinch their first World Series win since 1985. Legitimately got goose bumps as I typed that out.
Green Lady Lounge - This is the quintessential high volume jazz club that you’d expect to find in Kansas City: dark lighting, loud jazz (7 days a week), and an incredibly eclectic back bar. They boast a rather large cocktail menu that takes the potential pretentiousness out of the drink and puts the pressure on the level of service that is executed by the “black tie” staff. Whether you are looking for a tall Budweiser or a shot of Don Julio 1942 ($10...yea I know) there is something here for everyone. Between 1 am and 3 am, this is where you will find many bartenders from the neighborhood. Just before skipping over to Town Topic for slutty burgers and shakes that have been blended with a piece of your favorite pie, of course.
Lucky Boys - Anyone remember Grandma’s Bar and Grill off Gennessee in the West Bottoms? No? Hmmm...weird. Well have no fear because the fella’s behind Lucky Boys has taken over and it’s as perfect as it ever was. Carpet on the floor brings some familiarity of the small town bars that we all know and love. The incredibly long bar hosts two wooden tops running parallel to each other to help bring the ease of beer cracking and shot pouring to an all time high. If you fancy yourself a game of billiards, you’ll have to check your ego at the door and prepare yourself for some tasty jams, lots of laughs, and above-average friendly competition. Nobody takes themselves too seriously here, and patrons follow suit. Be sure to check out the extensive velvet art gallery adorning the walls. Breathtaking stuff.
Dave’s Stagecoach Inn - It’s Monday night, and you’ve already had a helluva start to your week. You are craving a cold yard beer, some time to just check out mentally and meet up with a couple close friends who you just don’t see often enough. Dave’s Stagecoach Inn is exactly what you are looking for. Cheap beer (Monday is service industry night and a 12oz PBR is $1), all the tunes are on blast from the digital jukebox, and the people watching will damn near bring a tear to your eye. Middle-aged dad who is meeting with his old fraternity buds for a couple of brewskis after work? Dave’s. Late night drink to end a day drinking marathon? Dave’s. Looking for a place to just not give a f***? Dave’s. I think you get the point.
Learn more about Andrew in his interview with Made in KC here.