Saturday, July 30

Link Love for the Weekend

This video makes me want to take a trip to the ocean and go camping.
via Black Eiffel
Love this tequila especially the Day of the Dead art on its labels.
Work is to live without dying. Don't ever forget that.
Big, big fan of Max Wanger's photography. When I saw this post,
on DesignLoveFest, I recognized his work instantly.
Want to start your own food blog? A great read on getting started
and making it look good too. Not just for food bloggers!
Now this is a camper I could buy into. Buy the print here.
via design*sponge
Hey McDonald's, there's protecting your brand and there's being an asshole.
Here's one restaurant's story about losing their name, Little Mac,
or face litigation from the burger bully. Irish and Scots beware!
McD's doesn't take kindly to anyone using Mac or Mc in their name.
I tasted fresh figs for the first time a couple of years ago and fell in love.
Try this recipe for grilled soft cheese, thyme honey and fresh figs.
If you weren't part of Tale of the Cocktail in New Orleans this year,
you can still follow along through the Tales Blog.
Summer's half over, did you have a long list of things you wanted to do,
places you wanted to go, things you wanted to see?
Some really lovely, thoughtful writing by Pensive Girl Jessi on her blog.

Friday, July 29

Friday Outtakes

Beth T. // Accurso's
Jennifer R. // Tastebud Magazine
Aaron C. // Extra Virgin & Michael Smith
Natalie W. // One More Cup
Jessica D. // Murray's Ice Cream

toni a.

Toni A. | Cashier/Front of the House
Years of Industry Service: 2 months
Toni's first job in the service industry is a sweet one; she's behind the counter at Dolce Bakery, where upon opening the doors, you can't help be be instantly enveloped by sugary sweetness, and it's glorious. For Toni, it's a lot better than her previous job as a life guard. "Life guarding was pretty boring," she says, "This is a lot more fun, even when there are slow times."

When school starts back up again in a few short weeks, Toni will be starting her senior at Shawnee Mission East High School. She is the co-editor in chief for the Harbinger, their school paper. She also plays the piano and runs track. Between school, work and her extra-curricular activities, Toni says she doesn't have much free time, especially with her newspaper responsibilities.

  Make KC Better » Better public transportation

Thursday, July 28

shake, shake, shake

Kansas City, Missouri
We had a quick drink before interviewing Beau of Manifesto a few weeks ago.
And then I strong-armed Ryan into buying me a drink. Thanks, buddy. :)
Don't forget, you have two days left (deadline is July 29th) to enter

Bartender Chad shaking up our drink.

Birdie's Punch, $9
Pisco, lemon, pineapple gomme, tea bitters, apple cider. 

jason w.

Jason W. | Lead Cocktail Server
Years of Industry Service: 11
Jason moved to Kansas City in 2007 from Chicago. Before that he lived in Denver and was raised in Dallas. Home now though, is Kansas City, and he has no plans on leaving a city he has grown to love. He lives downtown and works in Prairie Village. He frequents Harry's in Westport, but mostly he's a dive bar guy, so you're more likely to find him at the Gusto. He is a big video game guy and is really into politics. "As much as I hate it (politics), I can't get enough." 

Jason has tried his hand at other work but it's in restaurants where he has found his niche. "I've done other things," he says, "Management, blah. Retail, double blah. And a desk job for a few months, triple blah. I'm really good at what I do. I'm a good server. I enjoy my job so much." As far as serving jobs go, he says his current job is best so far. "I feel so privileged to be at a restaurant that's doing so well."  Jason was managing at Sharp's 63rd Street Grill in Brookside before he joined the team at Tavern in the Village. He had been promoted to management there and it was what he did for six months, "but I'm not a good manager." The big transition for him was "readjusting my serving skills," he says, "Once everything fell into play, it turned out great."

Jason says he is close to his family, especially his mother and brother.

  Make KC Better » Take advantage of the city that you're in, there's so much to do here

Wednesday, July 27

shiny objects in the sky

Where are we?
This playful sculpture sits on the corner of what neighborhood?
Tell us the cross streets and if you know who the artist is. Tina only
shot the top of the sculpture so as not to make it too easy for you.
Leave your answer in the comments section below or
send us a message via facebook or twitter @ELoungeKC.
Jessi at Pensive Girl was the first to answer and absolutely right!
We are at the corner of 63rd Street and Brookside Blvd.
Thanks for playing everyone and Jessie, email your address
so we can send you a little prize.

ryan m.

Ryan M. | Server/Bartender/Day Manager
Years of Industry Service: 4
From behind the bar, Ryan's voice was a bit low and we had to strain to hear what he was saying. We were asking him about the cat button he had pinned to his left chest and with a dead-pan delivery, he said, "It's just a little cat wearing a sweater. I think it's pretty cute. There are a lot of ladies in here. I think they like it." Ryan has a hard time wearing solid colors, especially black, so he likes to add a bit of something to keep things interesting.

When Ryan isn't working, he goes to other bars, sees live music and takes long, sweaty walks around town from bus stop to bus stop. He lives in Midtown and doesn't own a car, walking or bussing to wherever he needs to be. He'd like to see Kansas City adopt a car share program like zipcar. Some of his favorite bands are Sons of Great Dane, Cherokee Rock Rifle, Hot Dog Skeletons and Various Blonde, but his favorite band of all time is John Nash

In the future, Ryan said, "I'd like one of these (a bar), of my own." He's already in the right path towards his dream. His drinking establishment would be somewhere between Le Fou Frog and Harry's Country Club, his favorite classy joint and neighborhood bar. He would open his bar in a neighborhood-area, within walking distance of people's homes, "preferably my own house."

Ryan is also a big Royals fan.

  Make KC Better » Gotta fix the transportation, it's terrible

Tuesday, July 26


Kansas City, Missouri
It's not easy to eat edible cocktails in the middle of the afternoon, but we took one for the team. They were delicious and really strong. It wouldn't hurt to have a back up cocktail on hand. There were five flavors available yesterday, and these were the three we chose: Grand Marnier & Godiva, Andes Mint and White Chocolate Raspberry. We got to share with John (who we've seen out three! times while doing the blog) and Linda, who were sitting at the bar next to us. Cheers and sluuuurp!

nick r.

Nick R. | Bartender/Bar Manger
Years of Industry Service: 38
Nick moved to Kansas City from Cincinnati, Ohio in 1972 when his dad taught at Johnson County Community College. One year later, he started his first job at Andre's on Main doing dishes, cleaning the chocolate table and raiding the broken candy bucket. Since then, he's worked just about every job in the service industry, including being a general manager at The Granfalloon. Now he works Monday through Friday lunches at Tower, and he has evenings and weekends free to take care of his 10-year-old daughter. He says, "She kind of grew up in this industry." She has already tried her hand at making (non-alcoholic) drinks, everything from grenadine and tabasco gets mixed in together, and her dad is the lucky guy who gets to try them.

Nick goes to a lot of Royals games and sporting events in general, but his favorite sport is baseball and his favorite team is the Cincinnati Reds. He coaches his daughter's soccer and baseball teams. "It's fun to watch your daughter play the same sports as you did," Nick says. He has also has passed on his love for baseball to his offspring. When she was eight years old, his daughter had a broken arm and a blue cast. Together, they would go to Royals games, each game is a 10-hour event which includes waiting for autographs. That year, they went to 35 games and now, she has 54 baseballs, all signed. She's even precocious enough to know that when the team is having a bad season and a bad game, that it might not be worthwhile to wait for autographs, saying to him once, "Dad, they're not going to be in a very good mood....we can go."

Working lunches and being in the industry for so long, Nick has learned to anticipate what his regulars want. "Usually when a guest comes in, I know what they're going to drink and have it on the table before they even sit down." He says of his regulars, one who was sitting at the bar giving him a hard time during our chat, "I have a lot of guests like this, smart asses, but I give it right back." You can become one of Nick's regulars too; he started a punch card program for lunch at Tower...get nine lunches and get a $10 gift card.
Side story: when we stopped in, Nick said his friend had just sent him a link to our Supper Club post the day before. Although they haven't gotten together in a quite a while, Nick says he also was part of a supper club. His friends? Steven Malloy of the Classic Cup and Ray Comiskey of The Capital Grille. I asked if there was a lot of drinking involved, like at ours. Dumb question maybe, but he said, "Oh, yeah." If you guys do get together again, ahem, we'd like to be invited.

  Make KC Better » Since I have a daughter, I really wish she could run around the neighborhood and not to have worry about her

Monday, July 25

History Lesson: Town of Kansas

Town of Kansas
By David Hayden
The recent photos of the Town of Kansas Bridge was a great representation of a fun Kansas City landmark. More than a dramatic backdrop for pictures, it sits between two of the most important places in the history of Kansas City. Directly to the east and west of this bridge are the long forgotten sites where Kansas City's forefathers took risks to put the Town of Kansas on the map.

Most Kansas Citians know that Westport predates Kansas City. Some can even tell you that Daniel Morgan Boone (son of the famous pioneer Daniel Boone) set up shop in what is now Kelly's. To find the name of the man responsible for helping start Kansas City, you only need to look across the street. It was John McCoy who first realized that a small bluff, near what today would be First and Grand would make the ideal spot for unloading passengers and freight from steamboats. Previously, they were unloaded in Independence, which was a day’s travel from Westport. Recognizing the advantage of this location, a few industrious men incorporated the Town of Kansas as a city in 1853.

The years that followed were brutal for the entire area. The Jayhawkers and Quantrill’s Raiders were just two of several groups that sought to tear the town in two. In the first half of the 1860’s the population of the Town of Kansas dropped ten percent to barely 4,000 people. Even after the conflict, the town stood divided. Main Street was the de facto state line with Union loyalists living to the West and Southern sympathizers living to the East.

It was across these factions that three local men realized that the key to the success of the Town of Kansas was to bring in the railroads. Robert T. Van Horn was the editor of a local newspaper and known for his overly optimistic portrayals of Kansas City as a panacea. Kersey Coates came to Kansas City to purchase 100 acres of land for some wealthy investors back east. When the investors determined the land was not what they had been promised, they ordered Coates to sell it. He sold it to himself and started developing his Quality Hill neighborhood as well as a hotel at Tenth and Broadway and eventually an Opera House at Ninth and Broadway. These two men had entered the railroad business on paper prior to the civil war and began work on a railway from Cameron, MO to Kansas City.

It was no secret that whichever city landed the first bridge to cross the Missouri River would become a commercial epicenter. Prior to the Civil War, President Lincoln had determined it would be Omaha, but those plans were never approved by Congress. Leavenworth and St. Joseph both had nearly four times the population of Kansas City at the end of the war and were considered frontrunners. Kansas City knew in order to thrive, they would need to land the bridge. No one knew this better than Charles E. Kearney, a wealthy businessman with a large land holding on the southern banks of the river.

Image Source from here. To see a larger, more detailed view of the map,  click here.

Kearney made an incredibly risky move to help win support for the river crossing. He sold a portion of his land to James Joy of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company. The sale was based upon the idea that by steering the bridge to Kansas City, Joy would become even wealthier. Joy saw the potential of access to the cattle in Texas and the Southwest without the need to cross both the Missouri and Kansas rivers. Kearney and Joy worked to convince the rest of the executives at the company while Van Horn’s paper wrote strong editorials to sway the residents of the fledgling town and those in Clay County to pass bond issues to help build the railway.

Leavenworth was fighting just as hard (although possibly less dirty) and had nearly gained the support of the railway. It was June of 1866, when Coates and two men sent by Kearney went to Boston to try to finish the deal. They sent word after their meeting with Van Horn (now the area’s representative in Congress) to write an amendment authorizing the bridge. When he did, Leavenworth was caught completely off guard. The amendment passed as a rider to a larger bill. With the backing of the railway, Congress, and local voters, the bridge construction began immediately.

On July 3, 1869, The Hannibal Bridge became the first bridge crossing the Missouri River. In the time between 1865 and 1870, the population of the Town of Kansas would grow 800% and nearly double the size of St. Joseph or Leavenworth. Kansas City would become the trade hub of the region. Remainders of these men are now part of Kansas City: Kersey Coates dream of affordable housing still exists on Quality Hill. Robert Van Horn’s mansion was torn down to build a high school that bears his name. Charles Kearney is still remembered in the town that bears his name.

When I walk out onto the Town of Kansas Bridge, I am reminded of the great pioneers who built this city. I look out to the east and see where a man named McCoy saw the opportunity for a city where others saw a bluff. How three men of different backgrounds looked across a river no one ever bridged and decided this was the place it could be done. I look below and see the remnants of the original Hannibal Bridge. I think about how a city divided by a river and by unparalleled political strife could come together for a common goal. This sort of thing could not happen just anywhere, but it can happen here in our city.
David Hayden is a writer, blogger and server at The Majestic Restaurant.
He was also featured on The Employee Lounge. You can read his post here.
Photos by Linh Trieu

Saturday, July 23

Link Love for the Weekend

Donna's Dress Shop from Ryan Nicholson on Vimeo.
A bushel & a peck. Food typography.
Denim hack.....zig zag stripe your own shorts.
via Poppy Talk
Love the name of all these underground Supper Clubs in New York.
Without leadership and an ever-changing digital media world, is it over for the Michelin Guide?
via Delicious Days
Vietnamese Iced Coffee, cà phê sữa đá is the best.
Amazing 3-D posters for the band Dry the River, each one taking 35 hours to create.
via Soon Lee
Everytime I see pictures of this jazz party in Manhattan, I've been dreaming about going.
Can we make one happen in Kansas City?
Food trucks and social media campaigns. via Stir on Twitter
So ready for What Katie Ate

Friday, July 22

Friday Outtakes

Zach W. // Harry's Bar & Tables
Mary Ann // Grünauer
Lindsay L. // Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones
Esther P. // Hi Hat Coffee
Jess K. // Glacé

supper club

Left to Right to Left: Chris, Matt, Craig, Lynn, Rachel, Linh, Seth, Tina, Sloane, Jeanne, Tim, George
This is Supper Club. A cooking and eating group started amongst friends who kind of knew each other. Through work, through our spouses, through other friends. We were on-the-surface friends who hung out, but over the last two years of cooking and eating together every single month, we have become family. We yell at and over each other. We share plates, forks and water glasses. We drive each other absolutely fucking crazy. We are in and out of one another's lives on such a regular basis, our "real" families sometimes wonder, why do you hang out with these people all the time??? Are you guys swingers? It's hard to pinpoint when we became a family, but somehow, magically, it happened. And we wish for everyone out there, to find a group of like-minded people, as fun, as reliable, as wonderful as the family we have made for each other. You can find out more about the beginning here.

More about this month's Supper Club after the jump....

Wednesday, July 20

ryan r.

Ryan R. | Bartender/Bar Manager
Years of Industry Service: 15
Ryan was born in Kansas City but raised in Jefferson City, Missouri. He's lived in Boston, Denver three times and had a four-month stretch camping out at Yellowstone. Although he's back in Kansas City now, he travels frequently and has made his way through most of Western Europe, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and in four short weeks, he will be in Nicaragua. "It's a great job, if you want to take two months off to go traveling, you can and your job will be there when you get back," he says. "I like to get away about 3-4 times a year, whether it's three hours a way or seventeen, it doesn't really matter." Being in the service industry affords him the time and luxury to travel as often as he does, but those days might be fewer and further between now that he's on the management side. 

He started in the kitchen when he was sixteen and made his behind the bar at Vinny Testa's, a restaurant outside of Boston when he was 20-years-old. "When I started, it was fruity and daiquiris, now they want Manhattans and Aviations. Definitely, the cocktail culture has shifted, for sure." For a while he was mostly a beertender, and then he got into wine. "The reason I like wine is the same reason I like craft beer. It's a quest for knowledge. Wine will never get boring because it always changes."

Ryan used to live across the street from me, during my first stint at working from home. We'd have similar late night hours; anytime I was sitting on my front porch drinking, so was Ryan. We'd shout over to each other and/or end up merging onto one porch to shoot the shit and play neighborhood watch. Some nights we saw raccoons wreaking havoc on our garbage cans. Other nights we'd be saving our totally drunk nursing-student neighbors from falling face-first down our hill and propping them back up against their own doors. Mostly, Ryan and George liked to gab on (and on and on and on and on and on) about wine.

Ryan likes to disc golf and travel (of course); he spends his free time cooking and having people over for dinner. We were the lucky recipients of his most current meal: curry chicken and rice. I know for a fact, he also likes to drink. He looks kinda funny without a beard. He loves Katy Perry and wearing flip flops. And although I question his choice of footwear, he was a good neighbor and is still definitely a great friend and drinking buddy.

  Make KC Better » Public transportation. 

the tunnel

Where are we?
It was my first time to this spot, but it wasn't a secret by any means. We saw plenty of pedestrians, 
cyclists and city workers when were there that day. Love all the different patinas and geometry.
Leave your answer in the comments section below or
send us a message via facebook or twitter @ELoungeKC.
This is The Town of Kansas Bridge. Everyone was super close, answering in the near vicinity.
David of The Hospitality Formula Network was exact, but since he won last time, we're spreading the love. We'd like to thank David for giving us a short history of the importance of the bridge. You can see more photos and read about it here. Erin Root answered first on facebook and beat streeturchin by five minutes. Erin, don't forget to send us your address. Thanks for playing everyone!
photos by Linh Trieu