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.
Big 12 Tournament Cyclone Centers
Every year we look to provide our alumni with a list of our favorite spots to go, and we are excited to provide some new options in 2020. In addition to our staple of McFadden’s Sport Saloon, located directly across from the Sprint Center, we have two new locations for everyone to check out.
Taps On Main – 1715 Main Street
Just a short walk south of the Power & Light District, Taps On Main has become one of our favorite Cyclone homes throughout the 2020 Season. With their Self-Pour Beer Tap Wall and an amazing menu (especially the Wings!), this should definitely be a stop while you are in Kansas City. Busch Light and Bud Light Specials throughout the week for all Cyclone Fans.
The Quaff Bar & Grill – 1010 Broadway Boulevard
New to our gamewatch slate this season, the Quaff Bar & Grill has been a fan-favorite. This amazing ownership team has opened its door to Cyclone Nation and fully embraced #HiltonSouth. Not only does the bar have some great deals for our alumni, but it can fit hundreds. If you are looking for a fun spot to chill in between games or celebrate with your fellow alumni, swing by The Quaff and enjoy an amazing gameday atmosphere.
Kelly’s Westport Inn Happy Hour – 500 Westport Road
Iowa State Alumni of Kansas City and Kelly’s Westport Inn host our annual Big 12 Tournament Happy Hour. An Iowa State Tradition in Kansas City, Kelly’s Westport Inn has become our home away from Hilton for years and if you haven’t been to our kickoff party yet be sure to swing on by and grab a mug or two! Live Music, Drink and Food Specials, and so much more! Join us for a night of Cardinal and Gold!
Hopefully we are celebrating victories by both our men’s and women’s team and looking forward to a long Cyclone filled Big 12 Tournament Weekend!
March 12th, 2020
Happy Hour - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Kelly’s Westport Inn is open till 2:00 AM
Kelly’s Westport Inn
500 Westport Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
”FAC FAVORITE” and returning musician, Brian Congdon, will play from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM as we celebrate another season of Iowa State Basketball.
Free! Drink Specials - ISU MUG DEAL.
UpDown – Friday Afternoon Happy Hour
Join the Iowa State Alumni of Kansas City as we gather for our annual Friday Afternoon Happy Hour at UpDown - Kansas City. Take yourself back to the early days of 80’s and enjoy UpDown’s nostalgic video games and amazing roof top patio.
Don’t forget to wear all your Cardinal & Gold!
First 100 people get 20 free tokens
$1 off all boulevard beers till 5pm
$2 slices of pizza
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.
Now let’s move on to the other Bs besides basketball: Beer and BBQ.
Kansas City’s most famous brewery, but also the most popular and hardest to get in to. Daily tours are available, and $5 tickets go on sale 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.
A new distillery southwest of the Sprint Center with a chill environment and great cocktails.
30+ beers on tap to choose from that you pour yourself. Oh, and it’s virtually right next door to Tom’s Town.
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.
A newer brewery worth a try of any avid beer drinker.
The Other Places
Iowa State alum Bryce Schaffter is the brainchild behind this brewery north of the Kansas City P&L.
Just down the street from Cinder Block Brewery. Easy one, two punch for beer nuts out there that need to kill some time.
This one is damn near in Overland Park, but if you like German style beers then this is the place for you.
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.
Across the street from the Sprint Center in the P&L this bar is the new hangout for Sporting KC fans.
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.
A new brewery within walking distance of the Sprint Center. According the The Googles it’s pretty good.
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.
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.
More traditional sit down restaurant than Joe’s KC, but Jack Stack does their BBQ about as well as anyone.
Just up the street from Kelly’s, so stumble over and have the best brisket outside of Texas.
Even closer to Kelly’s than Q39. Guess you’re all getting college drunk and fat. Just be sure to bring the Tums.
Another haul away from P&L, but worth checking out if you head south to one of the breweries mentioned above.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
You guessed it. The man himself, Guy Fieri, has a restaurant in downtown Kansas City.
It has a roof top bar!
Heading out to the breweries near Overland Park? Grab a gourmet burger while you’re at it.
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.
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.
Want live music? Go here. Pro/con: close to a gentleman’s club.
Head over near the plaza to this more upscale restaurant with some more classic American fare.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Go here to spend money you don’t have.
Go here to feel guilty for it, and to learn some history.
Go here to learn about the part of baseball no one talks about.
Go here to get a work out in, but be warned, it’ll be busy as hell during the Big XII tournament.
Go here for science, movies, and other displays.
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.