From hometown brews to the finest wines and spirits, Kansas City can “pour one on” with the best of them. In fact, traditional, late-night and weekend happy hours are some of the best places to hang with the locals and enjoy the burgeoning and very laid-back beverage scene, splashed with its own star bartenders that keep the city buzzing (pun intended).
Although the cocktail ambiance here seems to be newly rising to prominence, it’s really just a resurgence of the culture that developed here during its Prohibition-era, speakeasy years.
Some of the more popular places to hop on a stool—whether for a taste of the hops, a shot of whiskey, a frozen concoction or something shaken not stirred—are The Drop, The Rieger, the Wunderbar at Grünauer, Remedy Food + Drink, Snow & Company, Manifesto, Firefly Lounge, Czar Bar and Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen. And these are just the tip of the ice cube!
The “proof” of the city’s dedication to the spirits is the annual Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival (aka PoPFestKC), a multi-day celebration of cocktails, spirits, food, history and culture in the Midwest. Encompassing cocktail parties, spirits tastings, swanky soirees and educational workshops, the festival showcases the city’s best bartenders, bars, microbreweries, distilleries, restaurants and more, all culminating with the annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. Attendees here include cocktail gurus, spirits writers, food connoisseurs, chefs, and of course imaginative bartenders from across the country.