The Kansas City Royals home opener is Mon., April 10, making this a perfect time to head to one of the city’s many sports bars to cheer on the boys in blue. Here are eight options in the Kansas City area to root for the home team (listed in no particular order).
Brooksider Sportsbar and Grill: Brooksider Sportsbar and Grill is a classic destination in the Brookside neighborhood for sporting events. Inexpensive beer, including a decent craft-beer selection; a diverse crowd of college-age on up; large patio with an outdoor bar; and above-average grilled menu items make it a popular pick. Taco Tuesday means you can fill up on a taco for 99 cents. Or go for a burger – the Blvd Pale Ale is topped with grilled onions and mushrooms marinated in Boulevard Brewing Co. Pale Ale, topped with smoked Gouda. The eponymous Brooksider burger is loaded with your choice of cheese, grilled onions and a fried egg. The menu offers soups, salads, wings, wraps, loaded nachos and pizza. 816.363.4070, brooksider.com
The Well Bar, Grill and Rooftop: The Well is a Waldo hangout with an upper deck (weather permitting) and patio for those who’d like to indulge in a cigar or cigarette. Indoors, the pub is lively with packed tables and booths as guests settle in for craft beers, wine, cocktails and upscale food. Beer-battered shrimp, tequila-lime smoked chicken quesadillas, Baja fish tacos, chicken-fried chicken, Creole shrimp po’boys, smoked brisket sandwiches and sliders are just some of the many tempting items to enjoy during the game. 816.361.1700, waldowell.com
Coach’s Bar and Grill: Coach’s Bar and Grill in south Kansas City is a friendly neighborhood joint with a healthy in-house rivalry between the Mizzou Tigers and KU Jayhawks. The bar has enough sports memorabilia, good food, drinks and charming waitstaff to keep guests occupied over nine innings of baseball. Grill fare includes Buffalo wings, a half-dozen different chicken sandwiches and wraps. For more hearty dishes, choose from signature Coach’s Chili, chicken pot pie, a pork tenderloin sandwich and 10 burger options. 816.941.2286, coach-s.com
Kansas City Live: Kansas City Live isn’t technically a sports bar, but this outdoor event space is where sports fans go in Downtown Kansas City to watch and cheer on local pro teams. Dress for the weather, and prepare for the crowds. Part of The Power and Light District, KC Live shows the action on a massive screen while nearby restaurants such as Cleaver and Cork and No Other Pub offer ample food and drink that’s a step above typical game-day grub. 816.842.1045, powerandlightdistrict.com
The Blue Line: The Blue Line is mostly dedicated to hockey, but it is one of the few sports-themed bars in River Market, serving a clientele within walking distance. Inexpensive macro and craft beers, cocktails and an array of bar food like nachos, wings, tacos and burgers – dubbed “hockey pucks” – are on offer. The bar also offers rock-bottom deals every day from 3 to 7pm, plus daily specials. 816.472.7825, thebluelinekc.com
The Ship: The Ship isn’t a traditional place to watch sports. It is, however, a spirited gathering spot for upbeat camaraderie, seventh-inning singalongs, drinks and DJs spinning soul, funk and brass band music (during commercial breaks) – all in a fun West Bottoms setting. The jazz bar and event space’s affordable cocktails, cold beer and fellowship is as much a draw as the nautical setting. Although the bar is lined with paper boats of shelled peanuts, guests can bring food in. Famed Royals broadcaster Denny Matthew’s voice is piped in and synced with the game airing on two screens to drown out the sound of Joe Buck. theshipkc.com
The Granfalloon Restaurant and Bar: The Granfalloon is a Country Club Plaza favorite that combines high-volume drinks and food with plentiful television screens and customers who add energy to the scene. Park in a nearby garage, and hoof it over to this popular spot. Be prepared for a standing-room-only crowd unless you’re early – or lucky – enough to snag and retain a table. Order house specialties such as the Hangover Enchiladas; pulled brisket, Mayan chicken or blackened tilapia tacos; burnt-ends nachos; or any number of sandwiches, burgers and starters. Hearty entres range from crab cakes with hush puppies to bacon mac ‘n’ cheese to skillet rib-eye. Happy-hour (Monday through Friday, 3 to 7pm), late-night and daily special menus are available, as well. 816.753.7850, thegranfalloon.com
Chappell’s: Recognized by Sports Illustrated in 2005 as one of the 25 best sports bars in the U.S., Chappell’s in North Kansas City is a sports-memorabilia hall of fame. Jim Chappell has covered every inch of the walls, ceiling and back bar with amazing artifacts and souvenirs from major professional and college sports teams and players. Chappell is known to regale regulars and newcomers by the bar with the stories of athletes and of his remarkable life. The menu is pretty straightforward, offering a mix of comfort food and grilled items such as jambalaya fritters, the best-selling Tenderloin Supreme sandwich, steak salad, sliders with curly fries, charbroiled marinated flank steak and a black bean burger. 816.421.0002, chappellsrestaurant.com
Tanner’s Bar and Grill, The Quaff, Lew’s Grill and Bar, Johnny’s Tavern, Tower Tavern and Westport Ale House are other honorable mentions around town to cheer on the Kansas City Royals this season.
Story and photography by Pete Dulin. This article appears courtesy of Feast Magazine. Feast Magazine is dedicated to broadening the conversation about food and engaging a large, hungry audience of food lovers.
Editor’s Note: This story reflects menu options available in October 2015.