Friday, December 21

Coleen V.

Coleen V. | Manager
Vinyl Renaissance » Kansas City, Missouri » 39th Street
Years of (Record) Industry Service: 16
Coleen was sixteen, when on a fluke, she agreed to replace her friend at a job in a record store. She has been in the record industry ever since, at one point owning her own business with her husband out in Shawnee, Kansas. They closed up shop a few years ago. "It was great. It was stressful and everything, but it was a lot of fun," Coleen says with a laugh. "I learned a lot, like to never run a business."

After seven years being her own boss, they decided to give up some of the risk and responsibility. Their lease was up, the economy not so much, and "the way the music industry was going, it was better to close and leave with something." Still, she considers herself, like many of her peers at Vinyl Renaissance, a "record-store lifer."

Coleen lives in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas where she says it's great to find old houses. She's lived there for four years now and has had no problems. She acknowledges "the school district isn't great, but the neighbors looks out for each other." She's married to an Australian, who she has to thank for more travel abroad and her passport. When Coleen and her husband go out, they usually go to se a show.

  Make KC Better » We need more public transportation, light rail, trains

Monday, October 29

matt f.

Matt F. | Manager
Garozzo's » Lee's Summit, Missouri
Years of Industry Service: 7
Matt went to college for hotel management and graduated from Oklahoma State in 2009. He waited tables throughout college and wants to run his own restaurant one day. Right now, he's learning the business "on someone else's dime." His dream is simple, "just a burger joint," he says, "something with a nice big grill, good food and good quality, a family area." Although the restaurant life tends to be high stress, at the end of the day, he appreciates his employees and seeing his customers smile.

When Matt isn't working, he works out, sleeps, takes the dog out and drives around the city. His go-to bars are The Granfalloon and O'Dowd's on the Plaza.

When we interviewed Matt last fall, he was managing the Lee's Summit restaurant, but we caught him down in Columbus Park. His parents were visiting from Texas the day we stopped by.

  Make KC Better » Fix the roads. They're always under construction

Wednesday, September 26

Rest in Peace Tyler

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tyler and his young family. The following was posted on facebook by Extra Virgin and Michael Smith:

We are deeply saddened by the untimely loss of our dear friend and colleague Tyler Fracassa. Tragically taken too young and too soon from this life, we will miss his calm, his philosophies and his tireless work ethic. Please join us in condolences to his beautiful wife Rachel and their three precious children Eliott, Gwynneth and Arlo. A fund to benefit the children is being established, please contact Nancy Smith for details.

Please do contact Nancy at Extra Virgin if you'd like to help. Update: Please visit for more information about how you can celebrate Tyler's life, make donations to help his family or to attend his memorial. Thank you Paul for the information.

Thursday, August 30

Peek into Little Freshie

Kansas City, Missouri » Westside
Whenever I want a sweet coffee date, Little Freshie immediately pops into mind. Before they opened, I never did coffee dates. It was almost always boozy. This place makes me so happy though, the warm wood tones and soft colors juxtaposed with clean, masculine details. The best seat in the house is of course by the window, where you can watch the neighbors walk barefoot down the street as they go about their day. A baby slung on her mother's back stared at us and then broke out into the most incredible laugh. We took our doggie Apollo with us this morning and he did a fine job of barking madly at every dog and man that passed by. To see Little Freshie in motion and in color, click here.

Photos by Linh Trieu

Tuesday, August 7


by Fresh Fish Creative
You are the winner of our Manifesto glass giveaway.
Message us with your address. Please and thank you!
Emily Farris at Feed Me KC has a great post about her favorite Horsefeather using ginger beer instead of ginger ale, found at Harry's in Westport. We'll have to try that soon! This was our first visit to Emily's site and we love her writing style and voice. You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, August 1

Unbridled Julep Giveaway

iPhone pic by LT
I designed this glass for Manifesto to match their menus – it was a promo for the Barroom Brawl at Tale of the Cocktail in New Orleans this year. So I "asked" Ryan to give me one to give to you! He also threw in two of those great letterpress coasters designed and printed by the always awesome Hammerpress. The Unbridled Julep was recently featured as one of "America's Coolest New Cocktails" in Yahoo! Travel news. We love, love, love to see Kansas City out in the big national media world.

Share your favorite drink with us in comments to enter. We'll draw a name out of a hat and let you know next week. Comment by Monday, August 6th, please, thank you and good luck!

Friday, July 27

Peek into Extra Virgin

Kansas City, Missouri » Crossroads
I still remember the first time I was in the Extra Virgin space – it was a gallery then, Zin was in the Michael Smith space next door and we were there for the very first Urban Picnic fundraiser for The Kansas City Originals. That was an entire decade ago! Now the space is warm, vibrant and lively as Extra Virgin. I love how the bar is the main focus since that's often my favorite place to sit at any restaurant. Add their fun menu and excellent beverage program and it's no wonder that they are rocking it out on a regular basis.

Thursday, May 24

hot, hot, hot!

Where are we?
Where can you get an awesome collection of piano hot sauces?
Leave your answer in the comments section below or
send us a message via facebook or twitter @ELoungeKC.
Everyone got this one right! It is indeed the piano inside YJ's in the Crossroads. Annie from You Say Tomato responded first and we'll finally be dropping off a gift for her, $10 to BRGR!

Friday, May 18

kate b.

Kate B. | Manager/Trainer
Years of Industry Service: 14
Parisi Café opened inside Union Station last August and Kate has been there since the beginning to help with the opening and with training. She didn't know what to expect and says it's way different than a retail setting. Business is unpredictable, depending on special events, train travelers and business traffic. "I like being here," Kate said. "I've always adored this building."

Before Kate joined the Parisi family, she managed Latté Land, working mostly on the Plaza. For the past five years, she has also judged regional barista competitions but has never competed. She is a barista advocate and being in the business, knows exactly what they're going through. When she's not working in a coffee shop, Kate reads, drinks beer and eats good food. She loves Fred P. Ott's, Westport Cafe, Waldo Pizza, Eden Alley and Thai food.

  Make KC Better » I still thing we have a long way
to go establishing food culture, especially vegetarian,
there are not a lot of places

Monday, April 30

Vinyl Renaissance

Kansas City, Missouri » 39th Street
Music stores, especially record stores, seem to be a relic of the past these days, but there are still a lot of vinyl lovers out there. 39th Street is great for niche markets – this fun music shop occupies the former Boomerang space. This is the second location for VR, they are originally from Shawnee, Kansas. Not only do they offer lots and lots of vinyl, their also carry a wide selection of audio equipment.