Windows covering the wall let floods of natural light pour across servers who bear trays of pastas and pizzas through Sutera's Italian Restaurant in Westwood, which has been in business for three decades. As night falls, domed hanging lights glow overhead like hovering spacecraft, illuminating a weathered wooden bar where wall compartments backed in vibrant red contain ranks of bottled wines. At tables, patrons tear into meatball subs and burgers with italian seasoning, causing traders in napkin futures to pull out their cell phones.
After graduating from Kansas State University, Greg Fuciu decided to make his mark on the world by staying close to home and opening Lucky Brewgrille—a restaurant, coffee shop, and nightspot that coexist under a single roof. The flagship restaurant, whose dark hardwood booths and checkerboard floors evoke the warmth of an intimate pub, lists desserts first on its menu; an odd move, but a surprisingly thoughtful one that gives diners a sense of what to make room for. Of course, it’s still tempting to fill up on the burgers and skewers of hand-rubbed blackened chicken that beckon from the pages along with suggested beer and wine pairings.
The warm, pub-like atmosphere carries over to the coffee shop, where steam rises from mugs only to disappear amid plum walls and crimson velvet curtains. A wash of dim blue lights settles over velvet cubes and low tables in the downstairs Groove Lounge as late-night carousers spend the early-morning hours dancing or sword fighting with olive spears. On Friday night, the music moves upstairs to the outdoor patio, where feet tap and fingers snap to the sounds of live jazz.
More than a decade ago, a moose with azure fur wandered into a Prairie Village bar and became a regular, sipping on spirits and chatting up locals. This tall tale about the founding of Blue Moose Bar & Grill might not be exactly true, but it does evoke the laid-back vibe of the eatery's two locations, inside each of which a crazily grinning moose head overlooks the dining room. Brews babble from taps as chefs whip up pub fare with creative twists—fusion-inspired chipotle remoulade bedecks crab cakes, and sliced pickles sizzle in house-made beer batter till they reach a crispy, golden hue. The Overland Park location invites local musicians to fill the air with tunes each Friday, and the Prairie Village restaurant hosts art fairs, seasonal wine dinners, and other events throughout the year. During warmer months, both Blue Moose locations extend dining service onto spacious patios or mobile booths carried by passing bison