Barhopping, Food & Drink (General)
With its slightly dated boutiques and kid-heavy dining options, Corinth Square caters to a neighborhood that's been itching for something more modern and elemental. Enter BRGR Kitchen + Bar (4038 West 83rd Street in Prairie Village, 913-825-2747), a seven-week-old, farmhouse-chic burger joint. Simply enough, the words "Eat. Drink. Socialize" are painted by the front door, reminding customers that the upscale BRGR experience is more about relaxing and interacting with one another than watching televised sports or playing video games. When the rolling garage door is open, patrons can sit outside by the fireplace with cocktails, such as the Crosstown (a Hendrick's Gin-mint-lime-cucumber-tonic mix), or a spiked milkshake, a seasonal pint of Free State beer or a selection from the extensive canned-beer list. Open at 11 a.m. during the week and 9 a.m. on weekends for the brunch crowd, BRGR is good for those who value an easy atmosphere and food over gimmicks and drink specials.
Cheap Thrills, Games
With casual-dining restaurants offering fast-food prices, it's becoming easier to avoid drive-throughs at lunchtime. Instead of heading for the nearest T.G.I. Friday's, consider Frito pie or chicken fingers ... at a bowling alley. Every Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mission Bowl (5399 Martway in Mission, 913-432-7000) serves up its Lunch 'N Bowl Special — for $10, get two games, shoe rental, hamburger, fries and a medium soft drink. The offer is also good at Mission Bowl Olathe (1020 South Weaver, 913-782-0279. So polish off the bowling ball — and lunch. Nailing a 7-10 split is pretty sweet, but doing it in a suit might be one of the greatest feelings in the world. Just remember to put your wingtips or heels back on before returning to the office.
$10 (plus tax) per person
Music, Drunken Distractions, Karaoke
The Pitch's pick for Best Karaoke in 2010
There isn't a karaoke bar in the city as reliable as the Red Balloon, the Overland Park dive that allows amateurs to stand up and belt out Foreigner songs seven nights a week, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Balloon is a popular spot for birthdays, going-away parties, or any event that's enhanced by watching friends and strangers sing poorly in public. The crowd varies from night to night. Sometimes it's hard-drinking vets, there for the pool and darts. Sometimes the place is taken over by young professionals in khakis and polos flipping through the KJ's impossibly large songbook. Regulars know to come on Sundays, when 32-ounce domestic schooners are $3, and on Thursdays, when 24-ounce Pabst cans are $2 and help the endless pitchiness go down easy.
Last year, Playboy named the Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland, 816-471-5212) one of the greatest bars in the country, alongside such hot spots as San Francisco's Top of the Mark and New York City's King Cole Bar. But it's not all about the late-night vodka tonics and beers at this 81-year-old music hall off 18th Street and Vine. "Jazz is our mainstay, but we are also about the perpetuation of music as an art form, expanding out into the music community and bringing in musicians from all genres," says Anita Dixon, vice president of the foundation's executive board of directors. The MMF gets bluesy every Monday when it holds an open jam session at 8 p.m. Money from drink sales goes to educational programs at the foundation. Barbecue from Smokin Aces is for sale at the free event.— Berry Anderson
no cover charge
Jazz, All-Ages, Jam Sessions
It's been said that John Coltrane and Charlie Parker met for the first time at the corner of 18th Street and Vine. If you've neglected your civic duties and have yet to see the American Jazz Museum, it's closed today, but musically inclined types can still bring their instruments for the Blue Monday Jam at the museum's attached nightclub, the Blue Room (1616 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463). This week, sit in with — or sit back with a drink and listen to — tenor saxophonist Matt Otto and vocalist Shay Estes Drink specials include a $4 Blue Room martini and $3 beer, wine and wells. There's no cover on Mondays. The Blue Room opens at 5 p.m., and the jam (open to minors accompanied by adults) starts at 7.
Food & Drink (General)
Get into a Mexican spirit by eating some tacos. They come cheap at Jalapeños Mexican Restaurant (6318 Brookside Plaza, 816 523-5462) every Monday. Stuff two corn shells with beef or chicken for the price of one ($2.65 and $2.85, respectively). Wash them down with $1.50 domestic draws. For most people, two tacos are enough to "get you," according to Jalepeños owner Ben Hernandez. "They're pretty full of meat," he says — plus lettuce, tomato, green onion and cheese. The deal is restricted to dine-in only.
Food & Drink (General)
For more than 100 years, the little farmhouse at 4309 Jefferson was a private residence. Then last month, the owners of Temple Slug, the futon shop next door, turned the building into the new Teahouse and Coffeepot. They completely gutted the house to create a bright, comfortable place to serve a variety of loose-leaf teas; espresso and French-press coffee; and fresh-baked scones, butter biscuits, cookies and quiche prepared by resident baker Jennifer Scanlon. "We also serve soup, sandwiches and bruschetta," says manager Keith Buchanan. It took eight years — from creating the concept to opening day on January 20 — to make the venue a reality, but Buchanan thinks that once patrons discover the place, it really will be their cup of tea. It's open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Call 816-756-2868 for more details.