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Green Lady Lounge

Critics' Choice

Balanca's, the club that until last year inhabited 1809 Grand, was once a hub of downtown cool: friendly to artists and the LGBT set and maybe a handful of harmless small-time criminals. Our kind of crowd. But over time, the scene there became too sketchy — two homicides in two years — and no tears were shed when it finally closed its doors. The Green Lady Lounge, the jazz club that moved in last winter, has retained a small trace of the urban sex appeal (red walls and booths, dark lighting) that made Balanca's seductive. But owner John Scott (formerly of Scott Fitness) has classed up the space considerably, with a good-looking staff, tasty drinks, a vintage Wm. Knabe & Co. baby grand, and regular gigs by some of the finest jazz musicians in town. (Bonus: There's rarely a cover.) If you ever fantasize about the jazz hangouts of the 1940s or you simply want to drop by the best place to see jazz in Kansas City, this is the place.

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