Kansas City Connection: Newer venues to get your KC music fix
After 10 years of daily concerts, drinks and a menu filled with clever musical references, Kansas City’s recordBar will relocate from the Westport Landing strip mall when its lease is up at the end of the year. Owners Steve Tulipana and Shawn Sherrill are reportedly scouting out new locations, but nothing has been announced yet.
In the meantime, local music fans and performers need not despair, as several other bars and music venues have opened in the past few years.
For starters, there’s Tulipana and Sherrill’s other venture, miniBar, at 3810 Broadway Blvd. The miniBar hosts more DJ events than concerts, but its late closing time make it a popular place to gather after concerts at the nearby Uptown Theater are over. An event calendar is online at minibarkc.com.
In the downtown area, the Tank Room is a slightly upscale bar with dim lighting, modern furnishings and a well-appointed bar.
The Tank Room hosts live jazz and blues acts, as well as an open mic comedy night on Mondays and a singer/songwriter open mic on Thursdays, with live DJs the rest of the week. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, the bar lives up to its name with $3 Boulevard Tank 7 beer and other happy hour specials.
Check out the Tank Room online at thetankroom.com or in person at 1813 Grand Blvd.
Right next door at 1809 Grand, the Green Lady Lounge boasts a similarly classy cocktail lounge vibe, although one hearkening back to a slightly different age.
The velvet red walls, oil paintings and marble bar are reminiscent of big-city jazz clubs from the bebop and hard-bop era, with live jazz seven nights a week. There’s never a cover at the lounge, either, freeing up your budget to sample the reasonably priced cocktail menu, which features a formidable Manhattan, a Moscow Mule with fresh ginger beer, and the mysterious, eponymous Green Lady cocktail.
View the Lady’s event calendar at greenladylounge.com.
The retro sophistication continues in the West Bottoms, where The Ship, one of the city’s most enigmatic, hard-to-stumble-upon drinking establishments, is tucked in an alley behind the brick warehouses at 12th and Union streets. The Ship dates back to 1935, when it was opened shortly after Prohibition ended in Kansas City’s central business district. The bar changed hands throughout the decades, and had been closed since 1993 when Bob Asher and Josh Mobley recovered signage and furnishings from the original bar and reconstructed it at 1217 Union Ave.
Today, The Ship is once again at full sail each Tuesday through Saturday, with cocktails, live music and a nautical ambience you won’t find anywhere else in KC. Visit theshipkc.com for more details.
When it comes to a good old garage and indie rock, Blind Tiger at 3945 Main St. is an impressive new nightspot that opened earlier this year.
With its wide variety of craft beers, black-hoodied customers and DJs spinning rare 45s, Blind Tiger would be right at home in downtown Williamsburg or in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. But given its smattering of local rock shows, the extensive menu of gourmet hot dogs, and its location across from the iconic Katz’s Drugstore building in Westport, Blind Tiger is a uniquely Kansas City spot.
The multiple pool tables, ski ball alleys, ice hockey table, foosball table and hoop fever arcade games make this a great place to unwind and play a few games while drinking and socializing. Visit the Blind Tiger Facebook page for weekly updates on shows and events.
While all the above locations are relative newcomers to the scene, music fans should also check out The Riot Room (4048 Broadway, theriotroom.com), Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, daveysuptown.com) The Brick (1727 McGee, thebrickkcmo.com) and Knuckleheads (2715 Rochester, knuckleheadshonkytonk.com) for performances by local and touring acts.
— Lucas Wetzel is a writer and editor from Kansas City, Mo. Know of an upcoming event in Kansas City you’d like to see featured in Kansas City Connection? Email us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.