The Waldo district's 75th Street Brewery concocts unique beers best enjoyed while listening to the sounds of the local musicians who frequent its stage. As brewmasters labor to perfect the flavor of each keg, chefs craft an ever-growing menu of famous American eats, including burgers, ribs, pasta, and fresh vegetable salads. They call out daily specials on colorful, handwritten chalkboard menus suspended next to the high, exposed wooden rafters. For those who appreciate alfresco dining, a sunny beer garden lets in air and light through its slotted roof, while four solid walls block unpleasant noises, such as the squalls of wandering avant-garde jazzmen.
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.
It’s hard to make new friends in a park; but, thanks to KC Crew, friendships have been blossoming all over Roanoke Park, One Park Place, and Penn Valley Park. The secret to their success is rec leagues, in which players compete in softball, tennis, and sand volleyball, a beachy sport far preferable to speed eating shells. The organization provides umpires, a game schedule, and a $100 credit at a local bar awarded to the winning team. And after the sun goes down, the organization offers more in-depth studies of the area nightlife through bar crawls, themed to celebrate holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or simulate a zombie apocalypse.
One autumn day, 13-year-old Shanita McAfee wandered through her local apple orchard, plucking the ripest, plumpest apples. She had done this for years with her dad and siblings, but this year was different. Instead of giving the apples to her mom for apple pies, Shanita decided to take on the challenge herself. She loved her mom's pies, but didn't understand why her mom would use a store-bought crust if she was going to put in the effort to make everything else from scratch. So, Shanita started experimenting with various homemade-crust recipes, and her passion for cooking was born.
Though Shanita’s repertoire has expanded to include savory dishes, such as New Orleans–style shrimp and pan-seared seafood, her cooking philosophy remains the same: fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared with love. Magnolia’s chef has also made it her mission to challenge people to "experience traditional Southern ingredients and food in a different way." That's why she creates things such as braised oxtail lasagna and Grown Up grilled cheese—toasted farm-to-market challah bread with smoked gouda and Tillamook cheddar served with bacon horseradish dip and a 401K pamphlet.
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.
Cellar and Loft—which happens to be owned by former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Eddie Kennison—doesn't just pour its visitors glasses of wine or beer and leave it at that. Instead, it keeps a staff of experts on hand to enlighten sippers on the nuances of their chosen drinks, such as the grapes involved in a citrus-tinged sauvignon blanc or the types of malts that flavor an imperial IPA. Age is a much-respected quality in the world of wine, and Cellar and Loft even infuses that truism into their ambience—it's housed a building that's 140 years old and has enough exposed-brick charm to attract an 18th-century masonry guild. In addition to making visitors feel welcome in the tasting rooms, the staff also invites them to travel on wine trips or join wine, beer, cheese, or scotch clubs. These groups indulge members in monthly bottles of a chosen beverage, a newsletter subscription, and weekend tastings with the California Raisins.