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The 2018 WRNL Guide to Kansas City

For those who haven’t been, KC is always a great time.

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Next week, Cyclone fans will be making their annual pilgrimage down to Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament. There will be plenty to do in Kansas City well before the Cyclones play their first tournament game, so be sure to check out the events listed below, grab some beers and BBQ, and then set the controls for the Power & Light District.

Below are the things to do and see in Kansas City, culled from our own experiences and a discussion with members of the Iowa State Alumni Association of Kansas City.

For more information the Iowa State Alumni Association of Kansas City you can visit their web page or catch them on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 6th

The Grand Hall, 1330 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO 64105

This year, the Grand Hall, just a few blocks away from the Power & Light District, will play host to the Celebrate State Event which will kick off the week. Jeff Johnson and others from the Iowa State Alumni Association will be in attendance to talk all things Iowa State.

Details for the event:

When: 6 - 8 PM

Cost: There is no cost but you must register if you plan on attending. Spots fill fast for this event, and there is no guarantee they will be available by the time you read this. Registration closes on 2/27.

Wednesday March 7th

The Big XII Tournament begins for Iowa State on Wednesday Night! For the first time in many years, Hilton South gets started right from the beginning. Please join the Iowa State Alumni of Kansas City and take over McFadden’s on the first night of the Big XII Tournament. Our Cyclone Corner will be reserved for first come – first serve, open to any alumni or Cyclone, so arrive early if you want to grab a spot! Otherwise, please join the rest of us at McFadden’s and the surrounding Power & Light District, as Cyclone Nation will look to take over the Sprint Center!

McFadden's is managed by a Mizzou grad who does not want to see more Kansas fans in the Power & Light District, so he's welcomed the Cyclones with open arms.


McFadden’s Sports Saloon

1330 Grand Boulevard

Kansas City, Missouri 64106


Free! Ask your bartender or server for any Big XII Tournament Specials!

Thursday, March 8th

Kelly's in Westport, 500 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO

It’s Kelly’s. It’s KC. It’s tournament time. What goes on here on at the tournament has been a staple for years. It’s usually on Wednesday, but the Happy Hour has been moved to Thursday this year.

*If Iowa State advances to Thursday Night, 6:00 PM Game, Live Music will pause for duration of game and resume after*

If you’re still in Power & Light from partying the night before, plenty of Cyclone fans will still be watching the game at McFadden’s if the Cyclones advance out of the first round.


March 8th, 2018

Happy Hour - 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Kelly’s Westport Inn is open till 2:00 AM


Kelly’s Westport Inn

500 Westport Road

Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Live Music:

”FAC FAVORITE” and returning musician, Brian Congdon

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and will continue to play after the game (Iowa State advances to Thursday)


Free! Drink Specials - ISU MUG DEAL.

It's like People's FAC, right on down to that awkward situation with a sorority girl you never called back. Except she's 37 and a mother of three now.

Friday, March 10th

Up/Down, 101 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Join the Iowa State Alumni of Kansas City as we head to one of our favorite Crossroads District and Iowa-Based Bar, Up-Down. From Noon to 3 PM, all Cyclone Fans in Kansas City can enjoy one of a kind deals at a location just blocks away from the Sprint Center. Come kick off what should be a great Friday of the BIG XII Tournament!. The owner is an Iowa State alumnus and is offering $4 wells and 10 cent tokens to Cyclone fans during happy hour.

When: 12:00 PM - 3 PM

RideKC Streetcar

Yes, that’s right, Kansas City now has a street car that serves a lot of your downtown and P&L needs. Park away from the arena on the street car route and trust to get to the Sprint Center with little to no hassle.


Aside from the tournament, the Big XII will also have their fan zone set up in front of the Sprint Center, so head over to see some family friendly events, play some basketpong, and enjoy the nice weather with some physical activity.

On Saturday, the Annual Big 12 Run will be held at 10 AM and features both 5K and 12K options.

The Snake Saturday parade is on Saturday morning and is a celebration of Irish heritage in North Kansas City.

If you want to combine running and a St Paddy's day celebration then head down to Westport for the St Paddy's day 5K.

Upcoming Kansas City Alumni Association Events

5th Annual SKC Outing - event details here:

6th Annual Cy’s Day @ The K - event details here

2nd Annual Cy’s Crown Town Trivia Night - event details here:

Now let's move on to the other Bs besides basketball: Beer and BBQ.


Boulevard Brewing, 2501 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Kansas City's most famous brewery, but also the most popular and hardest to get in to. Daily tours are available and free tickets are handed out when the brewery opens at 10 AM. If you want to get in in a tour it's highly recommended you line up before 9:30 AM and grab tickets to whichever tour best fits your schedule. The basic tour is roughly an hour and a half long and includes a free tasting in their tasting room.

If Boulevard proves to be too inconvenient, here are recommendations from our Kansas City friends.

Tom’s Town Distillery, 1701 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

A new distillery southwest of the Sprint Center with a chill environment and great cocktails.

Ruins Pub, 1715 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

30+ beers on tap to choose from that you pour yourself. Oh, and it’s virtually right next door to Tom’s Town.

Lifted Spirit Distillery, 1734 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

Our peers in KC tell us that this has the best gin in town, which is perfect for the weather this week. Catch this one to the southeast of the Sprint Center.

Stockyards Brewing Company, 1600 Genessee St #100, Kansas City, Missouri 64102

A newer brewery worth a try of any avid beer drinker.

Brewery Emperial, 1829 Oak St, Kansas City, Missouri 64108

The Other Places

Cinder Block Brewery, 110 E 18th Ave, North Kansas City, MO 64116

Iowa State alum Bryce Schaffter is the brainchild behind this brewery north of the Kansas City P&L.

The Big Rip Brewing Company, 216 E 9th Ave, North Kansas City, MO 64116

Just down the street from Cinder Block Brewery. Easy one, two punch for beer nuts out there that need to kill some time.

Kansas City Bier Company, 310 W 79 St, Kansas City, MO 64114

This one is damn near in Overland Park, but if you like German style beers then this is the place for you.

Flying Saucer, 101 E 13th St, Kansas City, MO 64106

Can't, won't, shouldn't drive? No problem. Flying Saucer features hundreds of beers, with most on tap, right in their convenient location two blocks from the Sprint Center.

No Other Pub, 1370 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64106

Across the street from the Sprint Center in the P&L this bar is the new hangout for Sporting KC fans.

Yard House, 1300 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64105

Another new bar in the P&L, this one boasts an extensive list of craft beers. If Flying Saucer is full go the extra block to end up here.

Double Shift Brewing Company, 412 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

A new brewery within walking distance of the Sprint Center. According the The Googles it's pretty good.

Border Brewing Company, 406 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Another new brewery and it's right next to Double Shift, and once again within walking distance of the Sprint Center but without the crowds of the P&L.

Torn Label Brewing Company, 1708 Campbell St, Kansas City, MO 64108


Joe's Kansas City BBQ, multiple locations (click for map)

Formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's, this is the BBQ place to go if you're visiting Kansas City for the first time. Try the Z Man and have your life altered.

Jack Stack BBQ, multiple locations (click for link)

More traditional sit down restaurant than Joe's KC, but Jack Stack does their BBQ about as well as anyone.

Q39, 1000 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

Just up the street from Kelly's, so stumble over and have the best brisket outside of Texas.

Char Bar, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave #150, Kansas City, MO 64111

Even closer to Kelly's than Q39. Guess you're all getting college drunk and fat. Just be sure to bring the Tums.

Jon Russell's BBQ, multiple locations (click for link)

B.B's Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64131

Another haul away from P&L, but worth checking out if you head south to one of the breweries mentioned above.

Plowboys BBQ, 1111 Main St. Suite 115, Kansas City, MO 64198

Google Maps isn't updated with their new location just north of the P&L, but trust us, it's there. The map above links to the address provided on the Plowboys web site and is within victory stumbling distance of the Sprint Center.

KC Barbecue Tours

Ever want to gorge on BBQ but not have to go find the places yourself? Then these set of tours might be for you.

Miscellaneous Eating & Drinking

Stroud's, multiple locations (click for link)

Pan-fried chicken that is the best you'll ever have. Three locations, but go to the Oak Ridge Manor location for the best experience, and be sure to order a Chicken Choker.

Gus' Fried Chicken, 2816 W 47th St, Kansas City, KS 66103

One of the best restaurant staples of Memphis, TN now has a location in Kansas City and just happens to be right next door to the OG Oklahoma Joe's. This is a great alternative to Stroud's with more southern flavor.

Tannin Wine Bar, 1526 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Just outside of the madness of the P&L this wine bar is offering a discount during the Big 12 Tournament to those who say they are Iowa State alumni.

Cleaver & Cork, 1333 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64106

This replaces the old Maker's Mark restaurant bordering the courtyard inside the P&L.

John's Big Deck, 928 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64105

It has a roof top bar!

Burg & Barrel, 7042 W 76th St, Overland Park, KS 66204

Heading out to the breweries near Overland Park? Grab a gourmet burger while you're at it.

Cigar Box, 1519 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Across I-670 from the Sprint Center sits the Cigar Box, the loungiest bar you'll find near the P&L complete with their own throwback lounge singer. Want to class it up with your buddies? Go here.

Zoo Bar, 1220 McGee St, Kansas City, MO 64106

Go a few blocks north of the Sprint Center and go off the beaten path to the Zoo Bar. A cash only dive bar fit only for the most dedicated drinker.

Tank Room, 1813 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108.

Want live music? Go here. Pro/con: close to a gentleman's club.

Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Jazz? Jazz.

The Ainsworth, 11563 Ash St, Leawood, KS 66211

Head over near the plaza to this more upscale restaurant with some more classic American fare.

Chicken N Pickle, 1761 Burlington St, North Kansas City, MO 64116

This place is really unique, offering tons of pickleball courts to enjoy while you chow down on some delicious chicken, along with other American fare. Never heard of pickleball? It’s basically life-sized ping pong played on a badminton court, but the net is on the ground like tennis. They also have plenty of bags boards for those that don’t feel like straying too far from the traditional tailgating activities.

Tom’s Town Distilling, 1701 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

If spirits are more your taste, Tom’s offers tons of craft vodkas and gins, as well as any other alcohol you probably drank your body weight in by Wednesday of VEISHEA (RIP)

The Other Place, 7324 W 80th St, Overland Park, KS 66204

Another one of your traditional American sports grill, The Other Place out in Overland Park has a great atmosphere for watching sports. They also serve taco pizza, which becomes increasingly harder to find as you radiate farther away from Iowa.

Family Stuff

Don't want to spend all that time with the crazies in P&L and need to be a responsible parent? Well here's a list of things that make you look like a good human being.

The Plaza

Go here to spend money you don't have.

WWI Memorial

Go here to feel guilty for it, and to learn some history.

Negro League Museum

Go here to learn about the part of baseball no one talks about.

College Basketball Experience

Go here to get a work out in, but be warned, it'll be busy as hell during the Big XII tournament.

Union Station

Go here for science, movies, and other displays.

Kansas City River Market

Go here for unique shopping experiences and what is said to be the Midwest's largest farmer's market.

Hopefully you've enjoyed our list and be sure to check out everything the Kansas City Alumni Association has to offer. We'll continue to update the list periodically over time so be sure to provide your experiences and recommendations below.