The West Bottoms, just west of downtown where the Kansas and Missouri rivers meet, is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City. Home to distinctive industrial warehouses, it’s the perfect location for antique shops, art galleries, local restaurants and even haunted houses.
The morning after every month’s First Friday celebration in the Crossroads Arts District, the party moves to the West Bottoms. Antique malls, resale shops and flea markets open their doors to local treasure-hunters, with more than a dozen food trucks lining the streets to offer unique eats and refreshments.
If you want to enjoy a regret-free Warehouse Weekend, cash is your friend. Although antique and resale vendors take plastic these days, it’s too easy to indulge yourself when you see that mint-condition board game or that vintage table that would be perfect in your breakfast nook. Leave your credit cards at home and take only the cash you want to spend.
If crowds just aren’t your thing, there’s no need to wait for the featured Saturday sales. A growing number of stores are also choosing to stay open every weekend.
Food and Drink
Genessee Royale Bistro, in a converted gas station at 16th and Genessee, is a great choice for breakfast or brunch before shopping.
Other new eateries include Lucky Boys and West Bottoms Kitchen. Voltaire, an artisanal spot featuring creative cocktails and rustic American plates, is open for dinner and Sunday brunch. For an affordable Voltaire experience, try the ever-changing happy hour menu, available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re looking for an adult beverage or two, check out The Ship, a 1930s-style cocktail lounge on Union Street.
When all the antiques have been put away and the season changes to fall, the West Bottoms becomes a very scary place. It’s home to several haunted houses that feature talented actors trained to scare you out of your wits. With names like The Beast and Chambers of Poe, these may not be places to take your little Buzz Lightyear or Princess Elsa. Tickets for the houses approach $30, but you can sometimes find coupons at Hen House or other retailers. Check the venue websites for more discount tips during Halloween season.
The West Bottoms has left behind its stockyard heritage and replaced it with a varied, lively cultural presence. It might seem like a hodgepodge of attractions, but exploring the West Bottoms will soon make it clear there’s a little something for everyone.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens or visit http://communityamerica.com.