It's been four months since Lee Mecker, the new owner of BuddiesKC, took over the freestanding spot at 3715 Main. He's been working at the gay bar off and on for the past 15 years. Upon his coronation as King of the Bar, he decided that the joint needed a face-lift.
"I took out all that corrugated tin. Every gay bar in the '70s had that stuff," he jokes.
Mecker and his people have basically redone the interior -- new walls, better lighting, tiled floors -- and it has really brightened the place up, considering the lack of windows. He has also changed the name of the bar to "BuddiesKC," a slight change, considering Mecker is trying to move his place out of the "cruise bar" category.
"With Craigslist and gay.com, no one really needs to go to the bar for that anymore," he explains.
Gay, straight or whatever, go to BuddiesKC for some of the cheapest drinks in the city. Seriously. it opens at 9 a.m., and $1 wells can be had until 11 a.m. BuddiesKC hosts four beer busts a week (Wednesdays from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m., Fridays from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.) at $7 per person. That's all the PBR drafts your gut can take.
On an even more awesome note, one of the bar's loyal employees, Ray Still, who recently turned 75, will be retiring after 14 years of service. His last shift will be this Saturday.
"What's Ray's favorite drink?" I asked Mecker.
He laughs. "Hot Sex." He pulls a bottle of the creamy, khaki-colored booze out of the cooler. "Ray likes this."