Three Stop Hop: West Bottoms

October 3, 2016

Three Stop Hop is a series from Recommended Daily and Visit KC that lets you experience a neighborhood or corner of the city in three unique stops. For this last edition, we head down to Kansas City's West Bottoms for a unique, delicious experience.

Stop 1: Genessee Royale Bistro

The slow cascade of a runny yolk, the slight sear on a burger hidden under a bed of melted cheddar: all the best parts of the barnyard come calling at the Genessee Royale Bistro. The GRB sits inside a former gas station and is part of the vanguard redefining the West Bottoms. The décor is farmhouse chic, a style that draws in French and Midwest influences not unlike the menu. Both the design and dishes are refined, a reflection of the tastes of co-owners Todd Schulte and Tracy Zinn– the husband and wife duo that have owned and operated GRB since 2010.

A steady stream of bright red Bloody Mary’s (which get their kick from a heap of horseradish) leave the well-appointed bar during lunch and are often accompanied by plate after plate of the crunchy curried chicken salad. The Genessee Royale serves lunch until 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday, meaning you can leave work a little early and settle in on the patio. Find your own sunset in a glass with the pink-hued Campari and grapefruit. 


Genessee Royale

Stop 2: Stockyards Brewing Co.

A little over a block away, the Stockyards Brewing Co. has resurrected the former Golden Ox space. The brewery, which opened in 2016, has kept the Western-themed interior homage to the Stockyards District. Cowboy murals line the walls, boot spurs are at the bottom of the ceiling fixtures, and the familiar twisting bar that evokes a horseshoe, sit in front of the glass windows that frame out the brewery in back. Stockyards has a host of different beer styles across 12 taps (which also dispense wine and cold brew coffee), meaning a flight of four brews is a good option. The Golden Alt has a light pop of yeast in contrast to the robust malt and rich body of the Black IPA. Gluten-free folks can opt for cocktails (the Ginger Strong is a buzzy concoction of gin, lemon juice, ginger syrup and soda water) or Stockyards often has a guest brewery’s cider on tap.

There are a few small bites – a spiced nut blend with a pop of curry (prepared by the Genessee Royale Bistro), a vegan-friendly cashew queso, or meat and cheese board – but the food menu will expand dramatically when the team behind Voltaire (across the street) opens a steakhouse in the other half of the Golden Ox building. Give yourself over to the warm wood and sink into the long-backed booths. Ask the barkeep for a seasonal beer recommendation and rest your feet after a long hard day on the trail. 

Stockyards Brewing

Stop 3: Lucky Boys

Lucky Boys is the dive bar that Clint Eastwood would design if he had a sense of humor. It’s a bit Western, a bit vintage, and the kind of effortless cool that comes from self-assuredness. It’s also across the street from Stockyards.

Before opening as a bar in 2016, Lucky Boys started as a motorcycle club that occasionally threw parties over on Union Avenue. The music is everything from yacht to country rock, a curated playlist that benefits from co-owner Keenan Nichols’ deft hand.

You can opt for a craft beer or even a proper Old Fashioned, but odds are you’re getting a pint of Pabst to go with your game of pool. As you shoot stick, the mural with everything from skulls to a jet ski will distract you. You’ll also be drawn to the black velvet paintings that depict a tiger, Elvis, and even Willie Nelson with seemingly two noses. This is a bar with intentional conversation pieces and a television that only gets turned on during local sports action. Come ready to make new friends and with a bit of an appetite. The kitchen kicks out classics from other parts of the country (and Canada) with a mushroom gravy poutine (oh those cheese curds) and a Louisville-style hot chicken that is peppery and crunchy.

With a basket of fries and a cold beer, you can sit and swivel in the mustard-colored bar stools or trace your way through history with the old five-digit phone numbers that line back wall by the cigarette machine in this West Bottoms clubhouse. 

Lucky Boys

Photography by Chris Mullins.

Recommended Daily and Visit KC

Three Stop Hop is a series of stories that let you experience a neighborhood or corner of the city in three unique stops. We’ll present a different take on a progressive dinner with deep and delicious dives into the watering holes and eateries that make Kansas City a destination for serious eaters. This is Three Stop Hop. Bring your appetite.

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