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KC Fun Spots for big parties

KC Steve Apr 25, 2008 10:04 PM

Hello all,
I have benefited from the wisdom of this board and the Chicago one for the past few years, and thank you all. Now, I have a more specific need: a gaggle of friends are flying into KC, which I have been praising for the past year. We'll likely be a party of 12-15 on Friday and Sat, and I'm hoping to think of a couple great spots that are loud and fun before we head out for the night and act unlike our age.

Thought Blanc Burger sounded perfect (never been there) but they don't take reservations. Thought La Bodega would be perfect, but they only have 5PM and 10PM.
Also had thoughts of Room 39, Vinino, and Majestic, don't think they can swing the Blue Stem/1924 Main price point.
I've never been to Sarah's on Grand, Jasper's, or Carmen's.
We'll probably try Pizza Bella (call ahead option) on Sat.
I live around the Plaza/Westport and would welcome anything reasonably near-by...

Any thoughts on places I haven't mentioned, or the ones I haven't been to for a group of 30-somethings who want to enjoy each other's company in a more festive place?
Thanks, Steve

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  1. p
    pollymerase RE: KC Steve Apr 26, 2008 04:31 PM

    That's too bad you can't get a better time at La Bodega as it would be perfect! I don't have any new recommendations, but I think I would steer away from Room 39, it doesn't seem like a 'loud' type of place. I've found it to be more intimate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pollymerase
      KC Steve RE: pollymerase Apr 27, 2008 09:47 PM

      I recall my one visit as we stayed a bit later after dinner and our server turned into the resident Ipod DJ! But I suspect you're right about Room 39 being rather intimate when we would be there for dinner.

    2. l
      lwoerther RE: KC Steve Apr 26, 2008 04:37 PM

      You can try Seven downtown, it's reasonably priced and a cool atmosphere. We had a pretty large table a few weeks ago and they were accommodating. I would also mention Nara- I don't know how large or parties they will take, but it's a fun place as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lwoerther
        KC Steve RE: lwoerther Apr 27, 2008 09:46 PM

        Seven was a fun place, I remember getting there and seeing a bit more sedate crowd, and watching the patrons become more decked out and younger as the night went on. Do you remember how much notice they needed? I was out of town all weekend and didn't get a chance to call around.

      2. a
        Aaron Deacon RE: KC Steve Apr 26, 2008 08:38 PM

        Bluestem's lounge menu is quite reasonably priced:


        You might also consider JP Wine Bar.

        I've only been to Room 39 after 10 on Thursdays, but the vibe at that time anyway seems like they could accommodate a larger and enthusiastic party.

        I've only heard terrible things about Vinino.

        A total change of scenery from the places you've mentioned above, but I also really enjoy Grinder's, and if it's a nice night and you can get a fire going out back, might be worth a look.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Aaron Deacon
          KC Steve RE: Aaron Deacon Apr 27, 2008 09:54 PM

          Vinino is an interesting place as it has been absolutely blasted here and other forums as well as that recent Pitch article. I was lucky and am somewhat familiar to one of the good servers (as far as I know at least), who I go to when my server disappears for hours at a time. I also stuck with their pizzas and while almost too cheesy even for me, I thought were reasonably palatable. Hopefully they work out the many kinks cited on most reviews.

          1. re: KC Steve
            asiansensation007 RE: KC Steve Apr 29, 2008 10:59 PM

            The kansas city star blasted them last week...is that who you were referring to or did the pitch do it too?

            1. re: asiansensation007
              KC Steve RE: asiansensation007 Apr 30, 2008 07:19 PM

              No, you're right. It was the KC Star, the pitch was lukewarm on them I guess. I have a different experience with them clearly. I went there early after they opened, after checking their website and seeing that it was half-price bottle night. When I asked them at the restaurant, the entire staff was unaware, and explained that the marketing department did things without telling anyone else. But the service was great, and the server that night has always remembered me and treated us phenomenally. She was also the first one to explain to me what the area was going to look like, back when it was them and McFaddens. Got me so pumped up about KC, I'll always remember them fondly. Unique experience it seems, sadly.

            2. re: KC Steve
              amy_rc RE: KC Steve Apr 30, 2008 03:01 PM

              So what is the scoop on the P&L District? Are most of the restaurants chains? I've heard several people say that they find the whole area to be overpriced.

              1. re: amy_rc
                Aaron Deacon RE: amy_rc May 1, 2008 03:33 PM

                Yes, and it does seem pretty expensive. Chefburger is the only non-corporate-owned place (though the Dalzell empire has a pretty corporate feel to me nonetheless).

                Bristol is of course a local chain.

                Other concepts, like Tango Sed and Maker's Mark Bourbon Lounge, may have only a couple locations, but you'll note I call them "concepts" rather than "restaurants."

                Peachtree is going in, but not open yet.

                1. re: Aaron Deacon
                  amy_rc RE: Aaron Deacon May 4, 2008 07:34 AM

                  I've been to Chefburger but didn't have time to really investigate the rest of the area. My friends "won" a party for 100 at the Big Sky PBR bar for next weekend, so I'll be up in the area. I say "won" b/c we have known two people who have "won" the same party, I'm guessing that if you enter your name you "win". I'm excited to see the area, though, and happy to have free appetizers and cheap drinks to start the evening. Much like the Legends in KCK, I don't know that P&L is really an area that I would hang out in. Seems like it's more for the tourists.

          2. j
            jdl98 RE: KC Steve Apr 26, 2008 09:42 PM

            Of what you mentioned...i can't recommend Vinino based on what I've heard. Personally, not too impressed with 1924 ESPECIALLY when compared to Bluestem. You know what I LOVE but maybe call and find out...Joe D's in Brookside...I love that place. If you could a few tables outside - amazing food and wine. Sarah's, Carmen's, Pizza Bella re all great.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jdl98
              KC Steve RE: jdl98 Apr 27, 2008 09:59 PM

              I have read good reviews for Joe D's, but I'm really curious about this Sarah on Grand and Carmen's. Any more thoughts on what kind of vibe you get from these places - more contemporary, eclectic, or sedated I think Pizza Bella is my default for Saturday night.

              1. re: jdl98
                KC Steve RE: jdl98 Apr 27, 2008 10:13 PM

                Also, I'm not sure whose posts first caught my eye on You Say Tomato, but I noticed you had one earlier. Thanks for the tip! Had some phenomenal Spanakopita and one of the best Greek salads I recall. I'll be a regular.

                1. re: KC Steve
                  jdl98 RE: KC Steve Apr 28, 2008 10:27 AM

                  I had YST last week for the first time, I think I posted - it was fantastic. Neat little place. I'd like to get there for breakfast one of these days.

                  Have not been to Sarah's yet but it's on my growing list of spots to try. Our wonderful server at Joe D's Saturday highly recommended it. I just have a hard time going anywhere BUT Joe D's when it's nice out. Carmen's is great - pretty laid back, solid italian fare. I don't know if I'd classify it as sedated, eclectic, etc. More of a neighborhood restaurant-vibe, maybe?

              2. Katie Nell RE: KC Steve Apr 27, 2008 08:24 AM

                What about The Drop? Same owner as Blanc Burgers and Bottles, but a little larger space. They might reserve a table for you.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Katie Nell
                  KC Steve RE: Katie Nell Apr 27, 2008 10:04 PM

                  Thanks for the reply Katie, I've enjoyed reading your posts this year. The more I think about your suggestion, the more I like it. I think my initial memories were of a rather empty restaurant during happy hour. But in my other visits at The Drop for drinks, there was usually a decent crowd. And you're thoughts on the food?

                  1. re: KC Steve
                    Katie Nell RE: KC Steve Apr 28, 2008 06:01 AM

                    I attended an event there last year where we got to sample much of the menu, and I enjoyed everything about it. I thought of it first just because I think it was a fun and hoppin' atmosphere. Lots and lots of drinks to choose from too. The bruschetta is fun, because you can get a little something for everyone.

                    1. re: KC Steve
                      stellamystar RE: KC Steve Apr 28, 2008 05:18 PM

                      Good Food + Drinks = Bar Natasha. Just went there last week. Not sure about reservations....

                  2. k
                    KC Steve RE: KC Steve Apr 29, 2008 08:28 AM

                    Went traipsing around KC yesterday, checking out places for the weekend. Anyone tried One80 in Westport? A friend whose foodie taste I trust recommended this spot that I had written off just from it's locale and decor while walking by...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KC Steve
                      kctraci RE: KC Steve Apr 29, 2008 10:26 AM

                      I love One80 - diverse menu,resonable prices and good service. http://www.one80lounge.com/home.cfm
                      Another mid-town spot I love is Cafe Trio, on Broadway:
                      I've also heard great things about JP's winebar downtown:

                      Grinder's is fun and has good food, but sometimes terribly slow service, especially for large groups.

                      Seven is not my favorite because the food isn't that great and is overpriced, I think. The atmosphere is cool though.

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