Bartender’s Corner: Johnson County Nightlife

Elizabeth Golden

Johnson County, one of the top 20 richest counties in the country, may not be the first location to come to mind when thinking of affordable drinking, especially since Kansas is known for its strict liquor laws. However, a new law was recently passed to allow Happy Hour and affordable drinks for all Kansas bars.

“It [the liquor ban] was silly,” said Pizza 51 Owner Jason Pryor, who had drink specials at the location near UMKC, but couldn’t do the same at the pizza place he opened in Fairway, Kan. “I just wanted to be consistent with both of my locations.”

This new law came into effect in May and has lowered drinking expenses at Kansas bars and restaurants ever since.

Talk of the Town

11922 West 119th St.Overland Park, Kan.

5201 West 135th St.Leawood, Kan.

With more than 40 beers to choose from and excellent specials every day of the week, Talk of the Town Grill and Bar is the best hotspot in Johnson County. The Grill and Bar has two convenient locations: 119th and Quivira in Overland Park and 135th and Nall in Leawood.

Each location has an expansive set of drink specials and clientele. The Overland Park location is standing room only on the weekends, but this is part of the charm. College students make up the majority of the customers, which allows for mingling.

The Leawood location is much bigger, so experiencing claustrophobia is unlikely. However, the customers tend to be older and not as social. This is the ideal location for those uninterested in socializing.

Each day differs in food and drink specials. For those who are domestic fans, Wednesday is ideal. Domestic bottles are only $2.50 and wings are 50 cents each.

Thursdays are popular since all Boulevard pints are $3, and all appetizers only $5.

For those interested in Belgian beer, Monday offers Blue Moon pints for only $3 and burgers are half-price all day.

Friday has hard liquor specials, featuring $4 Vodka and Turbo drinks.

The Grill and Bar also specializes in creating its own shots with clever names sure to do the trick.

“The Incredible Hulk” is a favorite among customers because of its blend of vodka, melon liquor and pineapple juice. Other shots may not be as tasty, but are fun to order, even if you are just ordering the drink for its humorous name.

These specials are subject to change and may differ by location.

Jerry’s Bait Shop

13412 Santa Fe Trail Drive,Lenexa, Kan.

Jerry’s Bait Shop located in historic Lenexa has the perfect combination of live music and delicious drink specials. No more listening to cruddy bar music: local bands provide entertainment every day.

Jerry’s Bait Shop is the closest to a dive bar in Johnson County with its eclectic, rustic feel. Jerry’s even offers a monthly jam session where customers can share the stage with the performing band.

In addition to music, the bar offers outstanding food and drink specials.

Sunday: $2 domestic draws and half-price pizzas

Monday: $2 wells and domestics from 4-6 p.m.

Tuesday: $2 domestic draws and wells

Wednesday: $1 Natty Light draws

Thursday: All Corona products are on special. Bottles go for $2.50, while buckets of five bottles are only $10 and all appetizers are half price.

Friday: $3 Boulevard and a $7 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.

Saturday: $2 shots and half-price calzones.

[email protected]