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King G libations, hot Italian beef at Jim’s Alley Bar, and blueberry bevvies at Blue Bird Bistro

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King G’s Old Bae. // Photo by Tyler Shane

King G’s Old Bay sipper

Once you’ve finished your Tamago sando or grown-up pb&j smeared with whiskey-infused peach and apricot jelly at King G’s deli, pop over to the bar side for equally creative and unpretentious drinks. Craft beers and natural wines are offered, but the cocktail menu is sure to catch your eye with peculiar names such as Trotter’s Smash—a peachy libation, or the Fearless John—a concoction of rye whiskey, IPA, egg white, and other subtly sweet flavorings. 

Of all the delicious drinks, the understated star of the show is the Ol’ Bae cocktail which tips its hat to the sea. Served in a highball glass with a large ice cube, the drink is a decadent blend of Cutty Sark blended scotch whisky, rhubarb, a touch of lemon, a sprinkle of cayenne, and Old Bay seafood seasoning. It’s sweet like candy but mellowed out by the seasonings. While some heat is delivered on the back end, the cocktail is a marvel in its execution, and the unusual ingredients come together to produce something entirely its own. 

King G is located at 500 E 18th St., Kansas City, MO 64108. 

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Jim’s Italian beef. // Photo by Tyler Shane

Jim’s Alley Bar’s Italian Beef Sammy

Around the corner and down the alley of King G’s bar and deli is a more hidden dive bar that serves one of the best Italian beef sandwiches in town—Jim’s Alley Bar. In its relaxed atmosphere of dim lighting, diner-style booth seating, and shuffleboard tables, guests can take a load off at this gem with an ice-cold Hamm’s. 

The bar fare is typical but intriguing, consisting of rosemary mac and cheese, pork chops, and curry chicken sliders. Jim’s Beef is a hefty Italian sandwich with strips of marinated slow-cooked flat iron steak stuffed into a soft Turano roll and loaded with sweet or spicy peppers. You can stack the sandwich even more by choosing the combo version, which incorporates a whole sausage. The sandwich is juicy and tender but cut with robust, acidic peppers. A word to the wise—you will absolutely need two hands to hold it.

Jim’s Alley Bar is located at 500 E 18th St. #103, Kansas City, MO 64108.

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Bistro Blueberry. // Photo by Tyler Shane

Blue Bird Bistro’s blueberry cocktail

The West Side’s beloved bistro may be serving up warm hot buttered apple rum for the holiday season, but among the menu is a cocktail that will have you reminiscing about the fruit-filled days of summer: the Bistro Blueberry.

The carbonated beverage tastes like an elevated limeade with its J. Rieger blueberry-infused vodka, club soda, rhubarb bitters, and lime garnish. Organic limeade adds that bright, citrusy flavor while softening with a hint of rhubarb. The hand-crafted cocktail is floral, aromatic, and evokes a deep, dreamy magenta color that will have you ready for the warmer days ahead.

Blue Bird Bistro is located at 1700 Summit St., Kansas City, MO 64108.

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