At 12:30 p.m. the parade hadn’t reached 18th Street but the Tank Room, the bar and listening room at 1813 Grand Blvd., was doing night-before-the-end-of-the-world business. Four, sometimes five, bartenders were constantly in motion.
On a normal Tuesday, the bar would open at 4 p.m. But this was Royals Parade Tuesday. The door was open by 8:45 a.m. The first drink was served at 8:46.
“And it hasn’t stopped,” said owner Dustin Racen.
Outside the sidewalk was so packed that moving half a block was a logistical challenge. Many patrons seemed content to nurse (or gulp) a drink and watch the parade on one of the bar’s TV screens.
How did Tuesday’s business compare to a Saturday night?
“This is far busier,” he said.
Just a few doors down, the Green Lady Lounge, a jazz bar where the bartenders wear suits and ties, was equally packed.
Manager Andriy Medvedyuk, who was busy preparing drink orders for waiters to pick up, said he usually opens at 5 p.m. On Tuesday he opened at 10 a.m. The bar was “maybe a little busier” than a Saturday night.
In the 1500 block of Grand, a vacant storefront building became a parade-watching hangout for folks in the Coleman Highlands neighborhood. The invitation was extended by John and Maida Hulston.
Hulston said he owns the building, which is available for lease. At midday Tuesday a few kids played and a handful of adults munched on snacks.
“It was such a perfect spot” to watch the parade, he said. “And it’s a nice respite.”
Hulston said he had attended Game 2 of the World Series and had tickets for Game 6. The Royals, of course, won the series in five.
“We’re big baseball fans,” he said.
A block away from the parade route, the Dirty Force Brass Band formed up on McGee Street in front of the Brick. Following Roger MacBride, who announced the coming of the band with a police whistle and dramatic waves of his hat, the band worked its way across McGee and the Kansas City Star lawn as it played. The ensemble — tuba, trombone, trumpet, bass drum and snare — created a lively Mardis Gras spirit, merging with the crowd and made it to the barricade before retreating.
“We were at the gate!” MacBride told the musicians after they regrouped.
MacBride was asked if the band had planned to actually crash the Royals parade.
“I wouldn’t say so much,” he said. Then he added: “We had hoped to open the streets to the people who paid for them … all the way down to Union Station.”
The Royals, he suggested, had brought the city together and created a real — if fleeting — sense of community.
“This is all about the family we have here,” he said. “We’re all neighbors and friends.”