GKC Favorite Hometown Bar Nominations

For years my favorite bar was a tiny, grungy, smokey bar where the regulars lined up every week, reminisced and argued politics. There was nothing glamorous about the place. My husband complained about the beer selection, the smoke and the music. I however, just kept returning to hear the stories, see those familiar faces and to feel like a regular. In the end, I had to give it up. The bars refusal to implement a “no smoking” rule was making me sick. I could easily correlate my regular patronage to respiratory issues. I miss it in spite of that fact.

What about you? Can you tell us about your favorite hometown bar and explain what it is that keeps you going? It doesn’t have to be trendy or well known, as a matter of fact we sort of fancy something off the beaten track. You decide. We want to know about a place that attracts interesting conversation, has decent service and makes you feel like you belong.

We want to identify the best hometown bar. The winning bar will be the subject of a feature article and some free advertising.

Here are the rules

It must be locally owned.

It must be within 40 minutes of downtown Kansas City, Missouri

It must be non-smoking

Deadline March 5, 2016

In order to be considered, the bars with the most nominations or with the most intriguing descriptions will be narrowed down to less than 10 and will be visited anonymously. We’ll choose from there. Nominations can be made in the comments section.

Let’s make this fun and interesting. Share this post with your friends to encourage nominations for your favorite.

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Do you prefer to mix your own drink at home? Have you tried Boozy Botanicals? Get their details in the GKC Business Directory!



  1. Ann

    Manny’s Mexican Restaurant on SW Blvd is my all-time favorite bar. Owned locally by the Lopez family and a part of KC for over 30 years, I have many good friends who work there and I feel completely at home. I always order their signature margaritas and enjoy watching KU or the Royals with many other fans on the bar TVs.

  2. Michael Bushnell

    The North End. Located in the Columbus Park neighborhood, otherwise known to old timers as the “North End.” Pete Mesh has done a great job of re-vamping the old LaSala’s Deli on 5th street and its a cool place to catch the game, the race or just lay low after a motorcycle ride. The bartenders all know your name after a few visits and will usually have a beverage on the bar by the time you pull up a stool. No pretense here. This is a local joint with non pretentious roots.

    1. Author

      Michael, I am eager to go back to The North End! I love the history of the space of the community. Thank you for the recommendation!

      Yours Truly,


  3. Emily

    The Blue Line in the River Market is one of my favorites. It’s a hockey bar, which would normally not be my scene. But (surprisingly) they have a killer margarita and nachos. Their buffalo mac & cheese can’t be missed. It’s a fun atmosphere any time a game is on. Hockey fans are passionate, man. They’re happy to teach you about the game they love, especially if you’ve got the next round. Their black margarita is dangerous – but so good.

    The Tank Room is another favorite. They feature local artists and frequently hosts concerts. They have $3 Tank 7s on happy hour (which goes until 7) and great people behind the bar. Caribou Lou oversees everything under a fun DRINK lit marquee.

    Last, and certainly not least, is District. Pour House + Kitchen. Technically a restaurant, their bar is outstanding. They make their own infusions in house, featured on happy hour, and they’re incredible. My favorites are the brown sugar bourbon, the jalapeno tequila (mixed with the pineapple tequila, makes for one kickass margarita), and the cucumber gin.

    (If you need any assistance with the judging of this contest – I am HERE for that)

    xo -Em

    1. Author

      Thank you, Emily. What wonderful recommendations! Having an adult niece has proven very useful.



      Aunt Ingrid

  4. Alex

    The Green Lady Lounge has got to be one of my all-time favorite local spots. The drinks are classy even when you aren’t feeling the same, the bartenders are friendly (and just as put-together as the cocktails), and did I mention that there is live jazz music flowing every night?

    No TVs. No drama. Just a jazzy spot for great conversation and a serious drink.

  5. Bud

    Ollie’s Local – 31st & Gilliam- No tv’s or a big dance floor. Just a nice, clean local place with great food, nice staff, and good music. Nice local, neighborhood feel.

  6. Mick

    The Zoo Bar. Hands down the best dive in KC. Great bartenders, jukebox, pool table, write your name on the wall, and Preston the owner cooks lunch for the bar (no charge) every Saturday. Eclectic mix of people. Cash only. Canned beer (although they now carry some microbrews also). A great one block walk, escape from P&L.

  7. Christy Bourke

    Daveys uptown ramblers club! I’ve been going there for years. It’s the greatest bar I have ever been too. Locally owned and it’s awesome.

  8. Mackenzie

    Nicky’s Pizza! Neighborhood bar/Italian sub and pizza joint in the northland. Always a smiling face when I go in. Cold beer and delicious food! Love the wings, Italian Grinder, Noni’s meatballs, and taco pizza (on thin crust). Must finish with a cannoli. Lots of regulars, including families. Must try!!

  9. Debra Allen

    Nicky’s Pizza off 291 in the Northland is the BEST! Great people, fantastic drinks and fabulous food! Wonderful for watching sports, meeting friends or taking the family. Bet you can’t go just once!!


  10. Don Allen

    Nicky’s Pizza Pub in K.C. North! Great food, full bar, great staff and outstanding service. And all the local regulars make it like Cheers with a friendly welcome.

  11. Eric Wilper

    It’s Nicky’s Pizza!!!! Right off 291 Hwy just north of Liberty MO. It’s not even close. Excellent beer/wine selection, great food, great owner, Nicholas Haug. My wife and I fell in love with the place the first time we walked through the door! A hidden gem in the northland!

  12. David

    Zoo Bar 1220 McGee. Awesome dive. Great owner, bartenders, and regulars. They carry Stag beer for me! Signature mini-beer shots look like little beers and taste like ice cream or cake with booze. Write what you want on the walls, play the jukebox, or play pool. Usually the owner or someone supplies a big crock pot with lunch for the regulars. One block from the Sprint Center and P&L – it is the dive that you need to take a break from KC live. Cash only and no beers on tap. Love it!

  13. Scott

    Definitely The Zoo Bar. All of the regulars are super-friendly and go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome. If you’ve never been before, you’ll almost surely be made to sign the wall and try their signature shot. Just a block from Sprint Center and P&L. Nothing on tap but a rather good selection nonetheless. Free lunch on Saturdays. Except for Sprint Center concert nights and weekend nights when it’s crowded with more than the usual number of strangers, it’s the type of place where I can walk in to a full bar, honestly say that I know everybody, and feel perfectly comfortable leaving my phone or wallet on the bar while I go play the jukebox. I could tell so many stories about crazy things that have happened there. The bar hosted the funeral of one beloved regular two years ago, and hosts a parade each year in honor of another beloved regular who passed five years ago.

    1. Author

      Thanks Scott! Sounds great. Would love to hear your stories.

      Thank you!


  14. Mary

    Zoo Bar!! A place like no other could ever compare! Great variety of beers and liquor for a super reasonable price. $1 jello-shots that are strong and delicious and the Mini beer shots, well they’re heavenly. The bartenders are awesome!

  15. Sarah

    Definitely the Zoo Bar. Friendly regulars, friendly bartenders, cheap drinks, pool table, jukebox and you can sign your name on the wall (or write whatever you want!) There’s free lunch most Saturdays and $1 Jello shots. One block away from Sprint Center and P&L makes it the perfect pre-concert or P&L spot.

  16. Frankie V. Roggio

    Nicky’s Pizza…good food, good service, good friends…

    1. Author

      Thank you, Frankie. I’ll be headed that direction!


    1. Author

      Thanks, Rachel! The boys in my family love wings! I’m guessing it is family friendly!?


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