As much as Main Street has changed with the rest of Kansas City, it’s nice to know some things stay the same. The block of Main Street at 50th is bookended by two Kansas City fixtures:
The Peanut, which has been open at this original location since 1933, is everything you want from a bar. It’s dark, busy and quirky and sells sizzling hot plates of signature wings.
And on the other end of the block and the other end of the spectrum, the elegant Andre’s Confiserie Suisse, which has been open since 1955, serves finely crafted Swiss treats, candies and cakes in a sleek, modern storefront.
Filling in the spaces between are shops, restaurants and business that make the block worthy of an evening out or for an afternoon treat.
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Nick and Jake’s, a relative newcomer since it expanded from Overland Park, is the kind of place that feels like it’s always been there. It serves signature cocktails and surprisingly sophisticated fare. “It’s a neighborhood joint. It’s the kind of place where neighbors can hang out, eat great food, have great drinks with great service,” said managing partner Larry Kime. The Chardonnay Chicken, with house-made gnocchi, spinach, bacon, chicken cutlets and a Chardonnay cream sauce, is a notch or two above your typical bar food.
Over at Prime Sushi, the Hotline Bling roll is one of the most popular menu items with good reason. The plating is artful, and the flavors are even better. It features crab meat, avocado, cucumber, shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, jalapeno, eel and spicy mayo and sells for $12.95.
It would be a mistake to pass by Christopher Elbow’s Glacé Artisan Ice Cream without stopping in. On a warm evening there might be a line, but it’s worth the wait. The flavor combinations are complex and creative. And try a house-made malted milk waffle cone.
The block, like so many in Kansas City, is vibrant and dynamic with an anchor in the past. It serves as one more piece of the Kansas City story; a story that looks forward without forgetting its roots.