We asked, you answered: Here are some of Kansas City’s favorite dive bars
We took to Twitter to ask for your favorite Kansas City dive bars, and more than 50 of you gave us your worst (that’s “dive” for “best”).
For those of you who don’t know what a dive bar is, don’t worry, there’s no swimwear required. Usually, we think of dives as being local favorites or hidden gems with cheap drinks and unpretentious — even grimy — digs. Wikipedia says that dives might actually be “considered to be disreputable, sinister, of poor upkeep, or even a detriment to the community.”
My criteria is usually something like, would Han Solo hang out here?
Whether you’re a dive bar veteran or have never taken a step onto the sticky floors of Kansas City’s hole-in-the-wall joints, there’s bound to be a new stop for your night out on this list.
Tied for first: Dave’s Stagecoach Inn and Zoo Bar
The Ink Twitter question garnered plenty of responses, but these two dives were evenly matched for the most votes:
316 Westport Road
Dave’s is a Westport fixture even though it’s a bit out of the way of the main hub. I have ended up here after a Westport show, and you never have to fight to get a drink. Cheap food and drinks, a classic jukebox and a no-frills shotgun layout topped off with its memorable neon sign all help make it one of Ink readers’ top dives.
1220 McGee St.
Seating about 25, Zoo Bar is a hard-to-find, cash-only dive downtown that might just be the most casual in town. The walls are covered in graffiti, and while there are no taps, the bartenders can serve you up cans, bottles, and mini beer shots (as well as mixed drinks) from their massive selection.
1411 W 39th St.
Better-than-just-bar food and cheap booze are fixtures here, but most people know Hi-Dive for its mystery beer machine. If you’re feeling lucky, cough up $2.50 and pull the lever — at least you might get something new.
Tied for third: The Red Balloon, Chez Charlie, Keyhole Tavern, Buzzard Beach
You all are really devoted to your favorite spots. Here are the dives that tied for third:
10325 W 75th St.
If you’re looking for a dive where you can belt out your favorite hits, you’re in luck. Red Balloon offers karaoke and plenty of cheap brews to calm the nerves before your set.
3809 Broadway Blvd.
This beloved bar sits hidden on Broadway, and has been a haven for dart throwers, cheap drinkers and eclectic music lovers alike for decades. Some things never change, but that’s the appeal of Chez Charlie.
5902 Woodson Road
Because of a liquor license designation, you’ll need to purchase a $10 yearly membership to enter. This helps add to the sense of mystique — that and the Tang and vodka fusion that is the Keyhole shot.
4110 Pennsylvania Ave.
If Westport’s core suits you, Buzzard Beach is the diviest of the bunch. Outdoor patios, billiards, shuffleboard and arcade games await at this two-story saloon.
Honorable Mention: Lucky Boys, Twin City Tavern, Sully’s, the Peanut on Main
While Lucky Boys is my personal favorite, not everyone can be as cool as me. Here are your runners-up.
- Lucky Boys (West Bottoms), 1615 Genessee St.
- Twin City Tavern (Westport), 1815 Westport Road.
- Sully’s Pub (Mission), 5436 Johnson Drive.
- The Peanut (Downtown), 418 W 9th St.
- Rest in peace: the Blind Tiger, Harling’s Upstairs