Listen to the Locals

In a toast to "America's next great cocktail city" (Chicago Tribune), we asked four local beverage barons to sound off on their favorite watering holes in KC.

Doug Frost

DOUG FROST

  • FUN FACT: One of only three people in the world to hold both Master Sommelier and Master of Wine titles.
  • MODERN MIXES: “Let’s face it: Manifesto has helped redefine the cocktail scene in our town. But places like Harry’s Country Club and The Drop have been on my short list for ages.”
  • WINE & DINE: “For wines by the glass (and outside the box), I expect exciting things at Avenues BistroTannin Wine Kitchen and Michael Smith.”  
  • WHY I LOVE KC: “Our cocktail scene is open-minded, never full of itself … hospitality is the opposite of attitude.”
  • FOR THE CUTTING EDGE: “There are lots of adventurous wine, beer and cocktail programs in KC. If I’m looking for interesting beers, I might find myself at Charlie Hooper’s. And I’m never surprised to get some deliciously surprising (as in thought-provoking) cocktails at restaurants like Extra VirginBluestem or Justus Drugstore.”
  • FAVORITE COLLABORATOR: “I’ve been working lately with Chef Debbie Gold, just like in the old days, and it’s been a gas, whether working on matching wine and food, or crafting cocktails to go along with her great cuisine.” 
Jenn Tosatto

JENN TOSATTO

  • FUN FACT: Bar manager at The Rieger and recently named the city's best bartender by KC Magazine.
  • MIXED WITH MUSIC:  “The Kill Devil Club has great cocktails centered on rum and a beautiful bar that is just the place to cut a rug to some amazing music.”
  • NEW ON THE SCENE: “Newly opened in the Waldo area, Remedy Food + Drink is quickly becoming one of my favorites.”
  • MADE TO ORDER: “The bartenders at Grünauer are amazing. I love their ability to ask a few questions and make you just the cocktail you were looking for, even if you didn’t know it.”
  • TRIED & TRUE: “Town Topic has been around forever it seems. Serving up great burgers and breakfast 24 hours a day. Mama is always there to mix you up a killer milkshake, and the Truckstop Omelet is a must-have, especially late-night.”
  • WHY I LOVE KC: The closeness and kindness. The KC service industry tends to be very close. We hang out together, we eat and drink together. We help each other. It makes for a very tight knit community that has no problem recommending other venues for people to check out. I love telling people at my bar that they should also check out here and here and here, knowing that my friends behind the bar there will take good care of them.
Berto Santoro

BERTO SANTORO

  • FUN FACT: Master of mixed drinks at Extra Virgin/Michael Smith and current VP for the local U.S. Bartenders Guild
  • EDGY COCKTAILS: “At Manifesto, that’s exactly what they do. I think they were more or less responsible for the resurgence of the cocktail culture in this town years back when they first opened.”
  • FOR A NIGHTCAP: “The JacobsonHarry’s Bar & Tables. These are the places that you will find all the bartenders after they get off work.”
  • KC IN A GLASS: “The Pendergast. Boss Tom Pendergast was responsible for keeping the town wet during Prohibition.”
  • SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Extra Virgin is doing cool, barrel-aged cocktails. Grünauer has some incredibly interesting Austrian inspired cocktails. Gram & Dun and Remedy seem to really, really want to be on top with the Crossroads cocktails.
  • LISTEN LIVE: I’d recommend Kill Devil Club. I am just so impressed with how classy and fun this place is. Great bartenders, great music, dancing and fun.
David Smuckler

DAVID SMUCKLER

  • FUN FACT: Inaugural champion of the KC Bartending Competition and the bar manager of Tavern in the Village.
  • WINE & DINE: “For a great wine that you wouldn’t be able to find at most affordable restaurants, Osteria Il Centro is a must-visit location. “
  • FOOD PAIRINGS: “Beer Kitchen is a great place to enjoy fun food and fine beers.”
  • WHY I LOVE KC: “We have several bartenders and bar guests who are devoted to see the cocktail culture ever evolve and continually impress.”
  • INNOVATIVE COCKTAILS: “I would have to recommend my own Tavern in the Village for its creativity and overall approachable list of freshly inspired handcrafted cocktails.”
  • A GREAT NIGHTCAP: “Harry’s Bar and Tables is by far my favorite place to end an evening for great drinks and company. It has one the most professional bar staffs in town.”
Contact Visit KC