The newest member of the Tanners family, the Shawnee outpost offers all the amenities we've come to expect from this local sports-bar chain: burgers, beer, video games, Pop-a-Shot, and plenty of high-end TVs. The main attraction is sports, but check out the calendar schedule for daily food and drink specials, as well as weekly trivia and bingo nights. This Tanner's also boasts an outdoor patio tailored to sports fans' needs, with flat-screen televisions and outdoor speakers, so even if you step out for a smoke you won't miss anything.
Crowding the bar and tables at Tanners are eclectic groups neighborhood locals -- young parents with kids in booster seats, couples on dates, guys seeking refuge from their wives girls' nights. There's plenty to do, with bingo, trivia and other activities on the bar's calendar. On off nights, theres pool, darts and video games in a side room to keep patrons entertained. The spacious bar and dining room offers bar-room standards food- and drink-wise, including a nice selection of imported beers, hearty chicken wings, sandwiches and salads.
Founded in Lawrence in 1953, Johnny's Tavern is now a veritable sports-bar empire, with eight locations across the metro. Like Johnny's other bars, the Shawnee location is laid-back and inviting, with wooden floors, an open dining area and large windows facing the street. The smell of fried food and beer mingle in the air and can trigger an intense craving for salty, greasy burgers and fries; thankfully the kitchen is open until midnight every night. Weekly entertainment includes bingo, live DJs and trivia, as well as two pool tables and flat-screen televisions armed with every major sports package. Smokers seek refuge on the large, heated patio.
J. Murphy's has all the hallmarks of a good Irish bar, including classics like corned beef and cabbage, shepherds pie, and fish and chips. Guinness streams from the tap, and Notre Dame flags hang from the walls. But it also goes places that other hardcore Irish joints won't. That means seasonal Boulevard brews on tap, 100-ounce beer towers, karaoke and trivia nights during the week, and football games on two (extremely large) projection TVs all weekend.
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A good beer bar is hard to find. But with 99 beers on tap and another 41 in bottles -- brews ranging from Belgian trappists to local hefeweizens -- Barleys Brewhaus in Shawnee fits the beer-bar bill nicely. The list isnt the only expansive menu at Barleys, either; the steaks, sandwiches and pizzas are all a cut above regular bar food, and tantalizing in their presentation. Pool and shuffleboard tables fill the back of the bar, while the regulars, usually members of the mug club, line the bar and sip favorites they cant find anywhere else. For a week-day adventure, check out a Thursday night, when live music is washed down with cheap pints.
Bright neon signs beckon drinkers into this 1890 building on the edge of downtown, where icy-cold drafts are served in plastic cups. The Bonino family has operated the bar and grill in this 7,500-square-foot location at10th Street and Broadway since 1946. No-nonsense and no-frills (not counting 30 plasma TVs), the Quaff is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., entertaining a wide variety of drinkers including local news personalities, Northwest Missouri State fans, and white-collar office types who like to hit up the joint between 4 and 7 p.m. for happy hour. There are also cheap tacos on Mondays and the occasional scantily clad cocktail waitress, but it's the baby pictures above the cash register and the warm vibe upon entering that distinguish this third-generation-owned business.
The downtown location of one of KC's oldest bars draws in patrons with the promise of satisfaction from gigantic chicken wings, BLTs and cold beer. Just off of Broadway, the friendly, no-frills dive gets a good mix of white-collar workers, loft dwellers and occasionally, day laborers. Once a popular spot for local aspiring rappers, the Peanut has since shut down its Sunday night "Hip Hop and Hot Wings" and put the focus on food and football games. Open until 1:30 a.m., the Peanut is definitely casual, neighborhoody and a good pick for happy-hour office gatherings.
Nightlife provocateur Casey Adams has been around the local scene for years, and now has a place to call his own, which just happens to be one of the hippest haunts to hit the Crossroads. Naras cuisine is Japanese, with sushi and robata dishes, and its cooler-than-cool, loftlike interior is streamlined and sexy. (Dont be surprised if you get the feeling that you should have coordinated your outfit to match the décor.) Nara marks First Fridays with colorful and delicious sake martinis on special and the owner himself manning the turntables.
Like all the bars in the Power & Light District, Mosaic has a niche: clubby exclusivity. From its upper-level spot on the block, Mosaic boasts champagne by the glass, furniture that's fit for an ultra lounge and a sleek, sophisticated air. The spacious patio affords precious decompression space when the DJs get too loud or the dancers too numerous. Often there's a guest list, so don't take it personally if you get stuck outside. Like the rest of life, looks and connections help, as everyone comes ready to impress.
The Jones calls itself "a scene with a view," which could refer to the 360-degree cityscape just past its rooftop perimeter, but more likely refers to the undulating party contained within. The dance floor is a hip-deep pool with bar stools bellying up to the DJ booth on one end and an island of water-throwing fountains in the center. It's surrounded by military-precise lines of beach chairs for an unobstructed view of tan, wet flesh. DJ Bill Pile keeps the bass as relentless as the summer sun, and drinks are two-for-one on Fridays after 5 p.m. Yeah, it's only open half of the year the good half.
Part of a national chain, the bar features dancing waitresses, jello shots, bachelorette-party craziness and drinks with 18-inch straws, all of which add up to an experience neither exclusive nor trendy. People come to party hard and maybe experience a virtual trainwreck, complete with bad singing, fake leis and second-hand embarrassment. Thankfully, booze can be ordered by the bucket here, and t-shirts and souvenirs are avaliable, just in case your memory of the night gets foggy. The bar is also known to attract a more diverse crowd than the rest of downtowns P&L District.
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, perhaps the only place in the Power & Light District that encourages you to embrace your inner beer snob, has more than 200 malted grain options and food pairings to accompany most of the varieties. Seven days a week, leggy, skirted waitresses in knee-high stockings serve up modestly priced (theres at least one draft selection for $2.75) imports, micros, beer cocktails, brats, burgers, and pizza slices to a mostly white male crowd, lovingly referred to as beerKnurds. The Flying Saucer has booths, tables, couches and overstuffed chairs in a dining room with platters and plates plastered all over the walls. Look up high and you can see the personalized plates of the few proud individuals who have achieved the Ring of Honor by consuming all 75 draft and 125 bottled selections.
A Pioneer of the burgeoning 31st Street district, the Velvet Dog lives up to its name. Velvety, textured artwork adorns the club's deep-red walls, complementing the retro decor and smooth atmosphere. Known for its high-dollar martinis and casual sophistication, the Dog is not so lavish, however, that it doesn't proffer pool tables, an up-to-date juke box and deep-fried artichoke hearts. The lounge is especially appealing during the summer, when the large, outdoor patio opens up, offering fresh air fans an array of pool tables, bocce ball tourneys and spacious seating. Food is served until 2 a.m. on weekends, giving the usual crowd of young professionals, musicians and hip scenesters one more reason to stay out late.
Sol is definitely the place to go if you want to feel like youre on spring break in Cancun. Its gigantic garage-door windows stay open most of the time, making for an open-air-venue feel, and the most popular drinks are Mexican beers, tequila and margaritas. The bar is a huge, concrete slab in the middle of the room, there are plenty of specials, and theres a roomy patio out back with an additional bar. The crowd here is sympathetic to the collegiate and the far suburban.