Where hipsters vibe and antique shoppers thrive. No longer an insider secret, there’s never a shortage of history to discover or treasures to find in this hip, historic district that in many ways embodies the past, present and future of Kansas City.
Things to Do
Thrifty pickers flock to the West Bottoms at the beginning of each month for First Weekends, when antique sellers open their shop doors for the masses. Treat your taste buds to a tour of KC’s wine scene with a tasting at Amigoni Urban Winery; just be sure to take a close look at the architecture in this century-old building. If you’re in search of something retro, check out The Ship, a classic cocktail bar that hosts live jazz and soul performances as well as rare record parties. During fall, thrill seekers need look no further than Edge of Hell or The Beast, two of the spookiest haunted houses in town (and Halloween traditions since 1975 and 1991, respectively).
Swing by Stockyards Brewing Co. to sample a West Bottoms take on Kansas City’s booming craft beer scene. Once the site of the country’s second-largest stockyards, the West Bottoms now features the American Royal Complex, a facility that’s home to livestock shows, rodeos and other events that serve as a reminder of KC’s Western heritage and flavor.
Where to Shop
Part of the West Bottoms experience is being there and exploring it yourself. And whether you show up in search of a specific item or with no expectations at all, you’re sure to find artifacts from generations past at antique stores such as Good Ju Ju. Open only the first Friday and Saturday of each month, Good Ju Ju has been recognized multiple times as KC’s best antique and vintage store. Do-it-yourselfers and retro furniture fiends alike will love R.B. Martin’s Vintage, a family-owned and operated business specializing in recycled, renewed and homemade décor and items.
Need a pick-me-up? Roll by Blip, a coffee shop and haven for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Places to Eat
Celebrate your latest antique purchase by treating yourself at Voltaire, an excellent bistro serving up inventive craft cocktails and globally-inspired small plates. (The owners are also in the process of reviving the Golden Ox Restaurant, a classic Kansas City steakhouse set to reopen in late 2016.) After a couple drinks, head next door to grab dinner at Lucky Boys, a lounge-like eatery and hangout spot with a bar food menu as eclectic as the furnishings.
Grab a bite at West Bottoms Kitchen, a cozy Cajun restaurant with great takes on Bayou fare. The next morning, hit up the Sunday brunch at Genessee Royale Bistro to refuel with a bacon Bloody Mary and plate of chili cheese fries. Or, try EJ's Urban Eatery for soulful meat + three menu.
Ever want to send a card to someone without any real reason? Easy, Tiger has what you need. The print shop designs and distributes cards, mugs and more right here in KC. Our favorite design (Alright Card) features a medieval depiction of Matthew McConaughy. $2.50