On our most recent expedition, under the wise tutelage of Research Assistant Melissa, an East Jack native, we were charmed by downtown Lee's Summit -- from what we could make of it in the dark, that is. There seemed to be many cute shops and restaurants, and we made a mental note to revisit during the day.
But this was a Saturday night, and the first thing that drew us into the 3rd Street Pub (17 S.W. 3rd St.) was the Spicy Blues Band, three young-looking guys doing covers. Of course, that reminded us of a time in our youth when we used to be All About The Music before having our dreams quashed by the soulless entity known as the Julliard School (well, kind of, but not really). But we digress. The hippieish lead singer (Andrew, age eighteen) was clad in a bucket hat and a tie-dyed shirt with a peace sign; the drummer and guitarist (Nathan, seventeen, and Matias, eighteen) were wearing skinny ties and looking very Strokesesque. What was endearing was that one guy's mom (Kristi, mom age) sat in on drums for "Hey Joe." After her stint, they broke into the tequila song, which inspired two women to clamber onto the bar and prompted a guy to slip a dollar into the waistband of one bar dancer. All around us, people were getting up to shake it as well.
Surrounded by such revelry, we ordered drinks. While we awaited their arrival, we contemplated the bar: a medium-sized place, more long than wide, neither fancy nor schmancy, with an air of ease and a hint of the dive about it. Paper-star lanterns hung from the ceiling, adding a splash of color. Our drink was equally bright. The Absolut Blue Martini was made with Absolut Citron, Island Blue Pucker and a squeeze of lemon. It tasted like lemons and blue. That's all we remember.
Encouraged by the friendly looks we were receiving -- as well as by the al-key-hol -- we mingled. Our first impressions were confirmed by a guy named Toka, age 24. ("My parents were hippies," he said of his name.)
"This is a nice community town, and this is a community-oriented place," he said of the 3rd Street Pub. "Everyone is friendly and cool. The bartenders are happy to do anything for you. New people come in, and people go up to talk to them."
Indeed. We felt so community-oriented that we good-naturedly heckled a guy who was wearing a Broncos T-shirt. He gave his name as "Shitbird," and said he was 62 years old and had been going there "since the beginning of time." We discussed Jake Plummer. "It's the last gasp for Shanahan," he said.
He also dispensed advice on the dating scene. "There are a lot of fucking idiots around your age," he said. "Gimme a hug."
On that note, we were filled with love and good cheer and blue drinks. We headed out into the quaint, good night.