Johnny’s Tavern coming to 13th & Grand, P&L

One of the KC Star blogs “Dollars & Sense” just reported that Johnny’s Tavern, a local resturant/bar with 5 locations on the KS side of the state-line is moving to that primo spot at 13th & Grand in the Power & Light district.

This will be a great, local, addition to the P&L to provide an alternative to the national chains that currently dominate the district.  And considering Johnny’s is an iconic establishment in Lawrence, KS, it’s great to see a KU friendly bar come into the area.

Sneak Peek at AMC Mainstreet

Last night we were invited to a blogger event at the brand new AMC Mainstreet Theater.  While the theater doesn’t officially open until May 1st, this was an invitation-only tour that covered the history, the features, and a special screening of Valkyrie The Brothers Bloom (they switched it at the last minute as a surprise sneak preview, great flick!).

AMC Mainstreet initially opened in 1921 and went through various renovations until finally closing in 1984.  It sat closed, abandoned, and crumbling as it awaited it’s eventual demolished fate as a parking lot until AMC came to the rescue in 2005 and began renovations.  If you’ve been to any events at the Midland Theater (another AMC renovation project), you’ll already be familiar with the impressive blend of modern contemporary design while also staying true to the buildings history.  Also, our tour guide emphasized AMC’s focus on “green” architecture from the beginning.  Everything from the carpet, walls, and seats are mostly made out of material that is recycle friendly and the paint is air-quality friendly.

So of my favorite features

  • Rumble seats – Every seat in all 6 theaters are “rumble seats”, meaning they actually vibrate with the sound in the movie.  A great scene in Brothers Bloom last night was when Bloom & Penelope are riding in a train during a thunderstorm, and you can actually feel the “clickity clack” of the train rumbling on the tracks as well as every burst of thunder going on outside.  It’s really a remarkable experience.
  • Seat reservation – Gone are the days of showing up 45 minutes before an opening just to ensure you don’t have to sit in the front row.  You can now either call or reserve online any seat in any of the theaters that you like.
  • Concessions & service – You of course have the standard concession stands, but the neat thing about AMC Mainstreet is the “Flavorwall” which consists of ~30 different types of soft drinks, flavors, and seasonings for your popcorn.  I’ve never seen anything like it outside of a Quicktrip.
  • Cinema Suites – These are the 4 theaters upstairs that seat anywhere from 25-65 people.  Every seat is a recliner and a tray on a pivot to place your food & drinks on.  These seats also come with full service from their waiting staff.  Need a refill on your Sam Adams?  push the little red button next to your seat and they’ll be out to take your order within a few moments.  The menu consists of about 40 different items ranging from beer & wine, to appetizers, entrees, desserts (cookies & milk!), and snacks.  Prices were standard for a mid-range restauant ($10 entree, $7 appetizers, etc…)
  • Parking – While any downtown area will have issues when it comes to parking, AMC Mainstreet helps us out a little bit by providing 3 hour validation parking in the parking garage 1.5 blocks away in the Constantino’s garage.  Watch out though, it’s $1 for every 20 minutes afterwards.
  • Marquee Bar & Grill – At the entrance to the theater you’ll also see the Marquee Bar & Grill, a full service restarant that serves entrees and (adult) beverages and on the weekends will stay open as late as 5am serving food.

I’m certain you’ll find many sources of media out there if you search on flickr, youtube, twitter, etc… under the tag “amcmain”.  Here’s a great video from Ramsey Mohsen.

Many thanks to AMC for hosting an event for us and we’re looking forward to frequenting the new AMC Mainstreet as much as possible!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Planned at KC Live

(Press Release) Kansas City, MO – Hot off the heels of the very successful Big 12 Basketball Tournament celebration, the exciting new Kansas City Power & Light District is poised to welcome throngs of St. Patrick’s Day revelers.

While not affiliated with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Kansas City Power & Light District is situated on Grand Boulevard, adjacent to the end-point of the parade route. The KC Live! Stage and courtyard will be abuzz with activity throughout the day as the restaurants welcome Kansas Citians to celebrate downtown. Raglan Road, the newest addition to the KC Irish scene, will play host to all Irish, and Irish-for-a-Day, with live music, food and beverage, all inside the authentic pub constructed in Ireland. McFadden’s Sports Saloon, is another of the 13 total restaurants and clubs that will celebrate with Kansas City as the town turns green. McFadden’s will feature breakfast beginning at 8:00am.

The KC Live! Stage will light up the scene when Halfway to Hazard takes the stage at 5:30pm. The nationally celebrated band from Kentucky will bring their "little bit country, little bit rock and roll" attitude to the celebration with a free concert.

Date: Monday, March 17th, 2008
Activities begin 8:00 a.m.

Location:  The Kansas City Live! Block of the Kansas City Power & Light District located between 13th Street and 14th Street and between Grand Blvd. and Walnut St.

Rules for Scalping

The MyFOXKC Power & Light blog answers a question I’ve had about scalping tickets at the Sprint Center (or anywhere else in the city for that matter).

If you’re heading down to the Sprint Center, you’re likely to see a bunch of scalpers. Scalping is legal if you just have a pair of tickets you need to sell off. But, professional scalpers have to make their way to City Hall to get a business license. Four professional sellers did get cited Thursday for not having a license.

StubHub.com is still the best way to get rid of any extra tickets you may have in my opinion.

Big XII tournament rocks the Power & Light district

Local blogger Ramsey is back with another video from the Power and Light district. This one from Friday night when the Big XII Tournament was going on next door at the Sprint Center. This even includes an interview with WDAF sports anchor Frank Boal to get his thoughts on the district.

So, I had a great time in the area yesterday. We weren’t able to find a table to eat and watch the KU game because every place was packed, so we ended up at Minskys in the River Market. Afterwards, we headed up to the Power and Light district to partake in the festivities with what seemed like about 7,000 other people. Every bar had a line to get in, and the Live block was completely packed with KU fans. We first spent some time at the Gordon Biersch Brewery then ended the evening upstairs at Angel’s Rock Bar. Everyone had a great time, and it really proved how both the P&L district and the Sprint Center feed off each other. Maybe Kansas City is now regretting not taking the opportunity for a downtown ballpark when it had the chance. Oh well, maybe it’ll happen in 2030 when the current lease expires. *rolls eyes*

Oh, while upstairs, I did see a new bar called “Big Sky” is opening up next to Angel’s Rock Bar on April 10th, and this appears to be the district’s country bar. I’m hoping for something a little more Coyote Ugly and not another Beaumont Club. I did come across this video on YouTube showing some of the construction going on inside from a few weeks back.

P.S. Tengo sed Cantina is developing quite the reputation as a “spring break” type bar with the bikini pole dancers. Most of the females I’ve talked to who have visited this bar aren’t really impressed. I haven’t had a chance to experience it myself yet though.

Updated Power and Light tenant list, with map

I did a big update to the Power and Light district tenant list page, so be sure to check it out. Included is a very useful interactive map of the district that highlights who is open or coming soon, along with their location.

I’ve also begun creating individualized pages for each tenant which I hope will contain useful information. So far I’ve added pages for Vinino and Raglan Road. Let me know if there is additional info that you feel should be added to those pages.

Interactive Map of Possible Light Rail Routes

I came across this map on kansascitylightrail.org of the possible light rail routes the city is currently debating. It’s hosted on Google maps, so yes, you can scroll around.

I’m not sure what the difference between the blue and yellow lines are. Hmm…

The optimal routes for the light rail to be successful in Kansas City are:

  • Use the current MAX route as a guide. KC is lucky in that most everything worth going to is in a straight line; river market, downtown, crown center, westport, plaza, brookside, waldo.
  • Given that the average cost / mile of light rail is about $60-$70 million, auxiliary lines need to be carefully thought out. Westport to the sports complex is a straight shot and makes a lot of sense. I don’t think a Waldo to the Zoo would be used enough to make it worth $250 million. Downtown to the Speedway would cost $1 bilion, which makes it way out of the realm of possibility.
  • Stop by Zona Rosa on your way from downtown to the airport. No brainer

What route modifications would you like to see?