Stemming from its building's late 19th-century origins in downtown Kansas City's bustling Garment District, The Phoenix now celebrates over 20 years as a showcase for top local music acts. Billed by The Pitch as a top music venue, these artists energize the musical palette of the historic club with soulful sounds of blues, funk, bluegrass, jazz, and folk.
While absorbing the local sounds of Kansas City, it's only appropriate that guests can take advantage of several local food offerings from The Phoenix's new menu as well. Kicking off with appetizers such as Avocado Fries and Mac Bites, diners can round out their meals with entree favorites such as Steak Diane, Firehouse Chicken, and Downtown Dip. For earlier risers, patrons can indulge in the club's Jazz Brunch, held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
After the doors swing open, The Big Bang regales guests with an evening of food, drink, and rambunctious, piano-fueled sing-alongs with their crooning cronies. From the acoustic confines of a reserved table, you and your impromptu barbershop quartet can warm up your vocal chords with a plate of pizza and a bracing round of Big Bang's signature Stoli shots. Once you've consumed the regulation amount of food and drinks, take your lilting falsetto or river-dredging baritone to the stage, where a rotating handful of multi-talented melody makers and a team of beer-fueled patrons take turns singing or yodeling their favorite bar tunes. Dramatic ivory-fueled combat comes further supplemented by vibrating bass, explosive drums, laser-guided keytars, and other musical weaponry. They'll take any request you like, and their repertoire spans from rollicking rock classics to modern noisemakers such as hip-hop wonder and minor-character-actor Xcalade. An energetic, round-the-clock live show encourages hip shaking and feet shuffling until 3 a.m.
At The Hangout Sports Bar & Grille, there's no shortage of bar space: servers slide drinks across a main bar that stretches more than 60-feet. Another, albeit less expansive bar intersects the room lengthwise, enabling visitors to set down their beers and hamburgers as they shoot pool or rest in between thumb wars. Owner Barbara Ghan–who swung open The Hangout's doors in December of 2012– engineered this setup. She even converted an adjacent garage into extra space for her bar. The result: a roomy, but welcoming area to watch sports, listen to live music, and, well, just hang out.
Cuisine Type: Gourmet to country, depending on the theme
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 1–5
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Chicken cordon bleu
Delivery/Takeout Available: No
For years, Barbara Spencer had dreams of opening a combination bed and breakfast and photo studio. Now she's the proprietor of her own Victorian Country Inn, a quaint B&B with everything from a Victorian tea room to an Old Tyme photo studio, where patrons dress in costumes for Western, Civil War, and Roaring '20s photos.
The photo shoots aren't the only reason for guests to get into character. Patrons also dress in costumes to play characters for the famed mystery dinners without needing to memorize any lines. The events embody a slew of themes, such as Public Enemy #1 with 1930s Historical Criminals, Roaring '20s in the Sarsparilla Speakeasy, and Clue Mystery, where folks try to work out if the butler did it in the conservatory with a bottle of shoe polish. Meanwhile, wardrobed guests dine on similarly-themed BYOB gourmet meals, made with local produce whenever possible.
After the night's activities, patrons head up to bed in the Garden Spa suite to cozy up next to the fireplace. They might also explore the Starlight Theater suite, a special vintage room that allows folks to go full Sherlock Holmes with a hidden passage to the inn's theater room, where folks enjoy old movies.
Fresh from opening its doors earlier this year, The Wood's friendly neighborhood noshing quarters envelopes incomers in tasty pub eats, a comfy vibe, and lively local music. Hungry patrons excitedly wobble their dowsing rods over the varied menu, which yields a wide array of edible treasures. Stoke dormant taste buds with a pound of jumbo hot wings ($8), then fan the flames with each tasty leaf found in the stacked house salad ($3 small, $5 large). The 16-inch cheese pizza ($10) is outfitted with a flavorful garlic- and herb-brushed crust that's perfectly equipped for sharing and thwarting small-time crooks, and lonely tongue boxers can find an adequate sparring partner in the Not Quite French Dip sandwich ($8).
At Nica’s 320, executive chef Bryan Merker and his team plate a diverse menu that blends American comfort fare with upscale Thai, Italian, and Cajun influences. Lighting fixtures dangle from exposed ceilings, casting an amorous glow over thai chicken, korean pork, and jerk-steak slider trios ($11.95) and sticky-rice crab cakes laced with savory cheddar and red chili jam ($12.95). Like choose-your-own-adventure cookbooks, mix-and-match house specialties sic epicurean detectives on the trail of edible henchmen—including french crêpe wraps ($10.95), grilled pizzas ($12.50), and pan-fried lasagna noodles ($11.95)—each abetted by accomplices, such as hulking meatballs, shaved pepperoni, and sausage or candied pecans and succulent roughage. Zeppelin-size appetites deflate under the tutelage of jumbo scallops ($26) and house-made seitan ($18) entrees, flanked with organic greens and adoring sides.