1721 West 39th Street | 816-561-2899
When you order a vodka and Coke at Gilhouly's, a little brick bar at the corner of Bell and 39th Street, a kind and pretty bartender makes it mostly vodka. The best time to enjoy this healthy pour is about an hour before quitting time on some late-summer or early fall afternoon. Stand near one of the two pool tables in front of the wide, west-facing window. In the movies, they call this the magic hour, for its impossible amber glow. It's magic here, too: The day's troubles disappear under the vodka, in the comforting sunset radiance. Someone might tell you to close the blinds. Ignore him. In this rare light, pool balls cast deep shadows on the felt, regulars get a little funnier as they rehash old stories, and the Stones swagger out of sight in the popcorn-scented air. Whatever people might think of you outside these thin, pocked walls, somebody at Gilhouly's sees you in this long, slow light and wants to improve your well-being. Soon, the sun sags behind nearby KU Med, and the bar, like the rest of the neighborhood, dims. Troubles return in the dark, but the ice in your glass remembers the golden light that just passed through it. Drink it down and feel the warmth.