Welcome to Kansas City, basketball fans!
The big draw this week, from Wednesday to Saturday, is the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament at the Sprint Center. VisitKC estimates the event will attract at least 50,000 people. Fans from Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and West Virginia will arrive with a reasonable question:
When we’re not watching hoops, what is there to do around here?
Where do we shop, eat, drink or dance?
In the spirit of the Big 12 tournament, 12 local experts are here to answer all of these questions.
401 E. 31st St.
“Try the wings charred with a PBR with a juice bump. The atmosphere is really good. It’s a neighborhood bar. Everyone from the first to the 30th bar stool knows each other.”
Dwayne Snipes, 30
Employee of The Bunker
1809 Grand Blvd.
“It’s the best jazz club. It’s beautiful. The music is so much fun, and they make really good drinks. It’s called the Green Lady Lounge because of “Star Trek.” The downstairs room is called the Orion Room.”
Sarah Burgen, 23
Employee at Re-Runs Vintage Apparel & Accessories of Distinction
Novel and Kitty’s Cafe
815 W. 17 St. and 810 1/2 E. 31st St.
“My high-brow pick would be Novel. Every time I go there my mind is blown by something. As far as the quality, you can get amazing food with out dishing out hundreds of dollars. They take really simple ideas and execute them in a way you wouldn’t expect. My low-brow place is Kitty’s Cafe for the tempura fried pork tenderloin sandwich. It’s the best and the worst thing you could put in your body. The vibe is uniquely weird, gritty and wonderful and completely KC.”
Mike Schroeder, 33
Employee of The Bunker and roaster and bicyclist at Oddly Correct
“There is a lot to do there because there are so many options. From bars and restaurants, they have anything you like to do. It’s the best place.”
Rayed Alshehri, 24
UMKC international student
1617 Genessee St.
“It’s a great place, whether you want to have a classic cocktail or a creative meal. They are spinning vinyl all the time. It’s a dimly lit atmosphere, and they have a great staff behind the bar. The chef creates unique, always changing dishes. Because it’s seasonal you can always have a different experience. It’s a good place for a special occasion or a place to go nightly.”
Elise Sanders, 26
“This is the most comfortable, most connected neighborhood in the city. My favorite place is Y.J.’s. It’s a super cool place to go with cool people and good food. And pretty inexpensive. I’ve never been there on a bad day.”
Jahleel Allen, 19
4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite D
“They have good burgers and beer, and they make the beer in-house. They have a fantastic beer selection and an awesome staff. They have table games you can play while you wait and an awesome outdoor patio.”
Dylan Galloway, 32
1924 Main St.
“It’s an underground speakeasy under the Rieger Hotel. It’s candle lit and intimate. It’s very fancy. Make a reservation or go into the alley and knock on the door. Someone will open it and ask if you are on the list. It’s just drinks, so go to the Rieger for food first.”
Kinsey Parker, 28
iFly (indoor skydiving center)
10975 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park
“It’s for adventurous people. It’s very fun and it’s a rush. It’s pretty pricey, but it’s worth it.”
Mykia Mandely, 22
333 Southwest Blvd.
“It has lots of healthy options and everything is fresh. Everything is vegan. They pose a question before your meal as a conversation starter. Ours was ‘What is your destiny?’ … To live life and help people.”
Taylor Atwood, 23
1217 Union Ave.
“The idea is that you’re inside a ship. It’s underappreciated. It’s pretty chill, but it gets kind of freaky on the weekends. Normally they play jazz during the week, but on the weekend they have a DJ. They have cheap beer and fun people. It’s lively.”
Josh Cooper, 21
“It’s a little different than the normal store. They have a wide variety of things, everything from records to Grateful Dead tapestries. They’re the best at dealing with used vinyl record equipment. They sell good band tees. It’s locally owned, which is awesome.”
Shaun Crowley, 22
Mills Record Co. employee