And no matter how hard the city's well-meaning, civically inclined Irishmen wish we'd be a little more discreet about it, we're going to drink. This year, we're planning on doing it at the Cashew.
Located on the parade route at 20th Street and Grand, this watering hole is set to have its grand opening at 8 a.m. on March 17. Much work remains to be done inside the cool space, but the Cashew is busting its ass to open on one of the busiest drinking days of the year.
"Come hell or high water, we're going to open, even if we have to work 24 hours [a day] to then," vows general manager John Gunter with Scarlett O'Hara-like, clenched-fist determination.
This highly anticipated joint has been the subject of much buzz since late last summer. It'll be a sister bar to the beloved Peanut sites around town. But as its name implies, the Cashew will be a more upscale version of its slightly divey relations. This sophistication reportedly will be reflected in a menu of retro cocktails, martinis and designer sandwiches (no Peanut BLT) as well as its space. The building dates from 1906, and the room has been home to a tire-supply company for Western Auto and Firestone, a cowboy-boot store, and a stadium-seat wholesaler. Lovely old details include stained-glass windows flanking the doors and small, square tiles making up a welcome mat of sorts outside the main entrance. The Cashew has added modern touches, too -- the exterior walls facing 20th and Grand are actually huge glass window panels that roll up, garage-door style. Plus, there's an oh-so-hip ice bar.
"Unlike Vivace, where it's just a huge block, our ice bar sits about a foot back [from the edge], so if you sit at the bar, you'll have plenty of bar space for a plate," Gunter explains. "It will run the length of the bar, but it's, like, 5 inches wide, so you can set your martini or beer glass on the ice and not have to set your elbows on it as well and freeze your ass off."
Which is good, because if we know KC weather patterns, ass-freezing on St. Patrick's Day will likely be occurring outside. All the more reason to go indoors and get sloshed.