10325 West 75th Street Overland Park, 913-962-2330
The Red Balloon is a no-frills neighborhood bar. Located in a tiny strip mall off the 75th Street Interstate 35 exit, the Red Balloon houses a hodgepodge of humanity. And with karaoke seven nights a week (starting at 8 p.m.), it's always amateur hour. Rednecks sing along to Clarence Carter's carnal "Strokin.'" Frat boys mouth the words to Dixie Chicks songs. Sorority chicks, headbangers and scenesters mingle in a way that Poison's Bret Michaels only dared to dream of in "Nothin' but a Good Time." Shame, shyness and self-centeredness should be checked at the door. Everyone parties together peacefully, downing huge schooners -- 32-ounce mugs overflowing with Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light or Michelob Ultra -- for $4.75. The Balloon even cuts a deal for PBR drinkers, knocking off 50 cents. (But don't even think of ordering a Miller Lite; the Balloon doesn't carry Miller beers.) Cue the Ted Nugent. It's a "Free for All."