With its corporate restaurants, highway roadhouses and mom-and-pop dive bars, Independence has few entertainment options for the young rock-and-roll set. Damage Control, in a Noland Road strip mall, caters to those who want to eat while enjoying $2 happy-hour specials during the day and loud, live music and cheap beer at night. Occupying the same space as the former heavy-metal bar called the Pig (and, before that, Neiners), this red-black-and-chrome venue features a calendar full of hard-rock bands and serves an ambitious menu late into the night Monday through Saturday. If the aural assault from the stage is too much, there are high-top tables and video games on the other side of the bar.
Time Out Lounge is a lot like your coolest friends basement circa 1998, complete with tunes by Dave Matthews Band, Fiona Apple and Eminem. The open space has a bar and a few tables at one end, flat gray carpeting, and four well-maintained pool tables. The laid-back hang was expanded earlier this year to make room for the pool tables, nearly doubling the size of the place, and it now feels like a miniature pool hall -- especially Mondays through Wednesdays, when league play takes over. The staff is friendly and the drinks are cheap, making this an ideal stop on the way home from a Royals or Chiefs game.
Is it a lounge? Is it a restaurant? Why does it still look like Pizza Hut? We dont know the secrets behind Secrets, a busy dive on U.S. Highway 40 in Independence, but we can tell you that everyone knows one another in the small wood-paneled and brick tavern. Trapezoid-shaped windows line a carpeted room containing two pool tables and a full kitchen in back. With a loyal Texas hold 'em crowd and patrons who dont take seriously the No Vulgar Language signs, Secrets is the kind of place you don't tell people you go to, or the kind of place regulars dont tell anyone about because they like it so much.
The name and neon sign may scream Miami Vice, but there's nothing but down-home, clean country fun at this spacious bar. Depending on your interests, you can hop between the bar's two distinct spaces that are separated by a long U-shaped bar in the middle of the room: the restaurant/dance floor on one side, game room on the other. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, parents and grandparents show off their dance moves in front of a band playing classic standards, like Brown Eyed Girl. Monday through Friday, diners can enjoy any of the kitchen's daily food specials (which include French dip or Philly cheese steak sandwiches). In the quieter game room, try your luck with pool, an arcade game or a toy grab.