Lunar Bowl casts a nebular net across rounds of pin punishment, which unravel daily across 32 state-of-the-art synthetic bowling lanes. Built in 2001, the 38,000-square-foot facility has played host to the PBA National Tour twice, including the tour's nationally televised finals and nontelevised slip 'n' slide experiments in the 11th frame. The center's celestial theme soars over into The Blue Moon Lounge, where bowlers can take a break from strikes and spares to watch big games or create deep-space shadow puppets on a 150-inch HD projector screen. Guests can visit the newly built arcade, and the facility will be non-smoking as of June 3. On weekends, Lunar Bowl drifts further into intergalactic realms with laser-lit cosmic bowling, and, buzzing with the chimes of new high scores, an arcade provides various digital challenges.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
When brothers Derek Boone and Dustin Craighead made the leap to restaurant ownership from backgrounds in the electronics industry and tattoo-parlor business, they probably didn't guess that they'd be serving some of their signature dishes to Guy Fieri. Their rustic, roadhouse-like gastropub, Swagger Fine Spirits & Food, was featured in an episode of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Fieri looked on as Chef Jerry Forness prepared the tempura-battered suribachi burger, which sizzles the taste buds with hot asian mustard and sriracha chili sauce. After he took a bite, Fieri noted the crunchiness of the tempura and the piquancy of the wasabi coleslaw, saying, "That is a lot of flavor, man." Of the chili made with Flying Monkey Amber Ale, the gregarious foodie murmured, "Mmm. That's a meal right there, dude."
The episode also showcased dishes such as the hot wings and a pulled-pork sandwich made with smoked pork shoulder and handcrafted barbecue sauce. Patrons balance out the spicy, savory flavors with close to 50 draft beers and more than 50 types of whiskey—about the same variety you'd expect in Hemingway's liquor cabinet.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
When Joe Zwillenberg bought Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill, he preserved "an irreplaceable piece of the city's character," according to the Pitch, which dubbed him Kansas City's Best Local Hero in 2006. Thanks to Joe, the close to 30-year-old establishment—which had been marked for takeover by a national chain—is still churning out its famous 10-ounce burgers today. Made with ground Prime cuts of Kansas City strip steak and fillet from McGonigle's Market, the hearty handhelds earned CityVoter's Best Burger awards in 2008 and 2009 and were featured on Food Network's Meat & Potatoes in 2010. Diners can customize each time-honored patty with onions, pickles, or shredded historical documents from the condiments table.
The eatery—which is nestled within a bustling flea market—also offers 44 beers on tap, live music, and a game room with pool tables, foosball, and an arcade. It is also the home of the Tiger Club of Kansas City's weekly luncheons, which boast high-profile speakers from the world of sports.
Each of the wines on the shelf in Cellar Rat has been vetted by the staff—nothing is sold to the public unless the staff would drink it or use it as a substitute for milk in cereal. The resulting more than 800 wines, 70% of which are less than $20, make for tasty everyday and special-occasion beverages, as do the number of premium spirits and handcrafted brews stocked alongside the wine.
Cellar Rat’s vino experts do more than just discern the difference between good and bad wine; they also teach others how to do so during wine classes that delve into the intricacies of tasting. They even make pairing suggestions for the artisan cheeses, gourmet cured meats, and pate also sold in the boutique shop.