Nightlife in Independence

Select Local Merchants

More than 20 years after first opening the doors to their rustic, wood-paneled bar and deli, Quintons Waldo Bar continues to blur the line between lunch and late-night revelry with a menu that couples deli-style sandwiches with satisfying bar fare. Cooks assemble a triad of Reubens stacked high with mountains of corned beef, cracked pepper pastrami, and turkey. Napkins work overtime beside the divinely messy chicken-salad sandwich, which overflows with chicken breast baked fresh daily alongside a slew of other succulent meats. Frothy ales pour forth from the bar’s taps during festive nightly events such as DJ sets, when the steam that rises from potato-bacon soup stands in for fog machines.

7438 Wornall Road
Kansas City,
MO
US

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.

2450 Grand Blvd
Kansas City,
MO
US

Chef Peter Grünauer rolls his apple-strudel dough thin enough to literally read a newspaper through one of its layers. This loyalty to the traditional, time-intensive methods of preparing Austrian and continental European fare can be tasted in all of the dishes at Grünauer’s restaurant, which he runs with his children Nicholas and Elisabeth. They modeled their eatery after the one their family operates in Vienna, which is why the Kansas City restaurant evokes the Old World with its brick walls and exposed overhead beams. Yet it also exudes local flavor by nestling inside a historic freight house decorated with chandeliers and mirrors.

For an authentic menu, the Grünauers rely on the expertise Chef Peter gained while owning renowned New York restaurants Vienna '79 and Fledermaus as well as meats, such as wienerschnitzel and smoked pork loin, purchased from New York–based Schaller & Weber or from local butchers. Whether the entree is a classic bratwurst or a more adventurous pale ale braised bratwurst, the generous portions cause diners to undo the top button or padlock holding their pants together.

For a sweet end to the evening, diners can savor the aforementioned apple strudel with its paper-thin layers of dough or sink their forks into the chocolate and fresh cream of a viennese sacher torte. A cherry-red espresso machine yields steaming cups of coffee by Viennese roaster Julius Meinl to accompany sweets, which guests enjoy in the dining room or on the biergarten. There, amid potted flowers and with a view of the downtown skyline, guests sip Austrian beer and wines such as Eggenberg doppelbock and Samichlaus helles, which the restaurant’s Wunderbar pours until 1 a.m. or when the moon starts snoring.

101 W 22nd St
Kansas City,
MO
US

Duke's on Grand embraces its location?in the heart of Kansas City and across from the Sprint Center?by serving as a haven for passersby seeking a neighborhood setting that celebrates local sports teams from each side of the state line. As live games play on the flat-screen televisions, the bartenders slake thirsts with potent cocktails as well as a selection of draft beers that includes several locally brewed options.

The food menu also embraces this homespun vibe by featuring a number of classic comfort foods made using locally sourced meats, dairy, and produce whenever possible. Barbecued ribs smoked overnight occupy the flame-heated grill alongside burgers that will eventually be finished with everything from jalape?o-spiced ketchup to Creole-style tartar sauce. Additionally, the selection includes homestyle favorites, such as pulled-pork sandwiches and hearty wings.

The warm ambiance at Duke's on Grand mirrors the pub's neighborhood-style charm. Surrounded by exposed brickwork and jet-black walls, the grill features small tables scattered across its dark wooden floorboards. The glass-paned front walls are even capable of opening during the warmer months, creating an open-air setting that allows diners to pair their meal with breaths of the fresh oxygen that the city imports each spring.

1501 Grand Street
Kansas City,
MO
US

A family-owned eatery passed down through several generations, The Beacon Tavern fits right in with the historic neighborhood it resides in. The tavern's owners and proprietors, all of whom still live nearby, emphasize that close-knit atmosphere as they serve recipes made from scratch and meats hand cut on site.

Aromas from double-cut pork chops, north-atlantic salmon, and pale-ale-battered cod fill the air as 16 draft beers and a lengthy selection of reds and whites dazzles palates. A kids' menu keeps energetic youngsters occupied with built-in games and helpful tips for convincing parents why they should be emancipated.

The tavern's main dining room accents steaming plates of food with exposed brick walls and tall wooden booths. In warm weather, The Alley seating area features alfresco dining with sights of the South Plaza neighborhood and mischievous birds dropping gum into the hair of passersby. Meanwhile, parties and meetings convene in the upstairs Monk’s Loft area.

5031 Main St
Kansas City,
MO
US

As sister bars, The Well and Lew?s Grill & Bar make a perfect pairing for parties. Throughout the year, the bars usually host event parties including St. Patrick's Day, Hop Fest Craft Beer Festival, and New Year's Eve celebrations. The Well's rooftop bar lets patrons relax under the stars as they drink from a selection of more than 30 tap beers and bottled brews. The Well's chef-prepared menu includes plates of elevated bar fare, including char-grilled KC strip steak, baja fish tacos, roasted vegetable ravioli, and black Angus burgers. Das Boot, Lew's signature drink, is an 84-ounce boot-shaped beer that comes with an optional challenge: patrons who can imbibe the full boot, plus 2.5-pounds of cheeseburger and fries, win a free T-shirt and the honor of proving they have a stomach that is bigger on the inside.

7539 Wornall Rd
Kansas City,
MO
US