Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club
Photo courtesy of MK Hamlin

One of Kansas City's most popular nightspots, Davey's Uptown regularly features pretty big names on the music front, including the Afghan Whigs, No Means No, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, The Follow, and Bruce Robison. The old dive dates from the 1920s, when it opened as a Prohibition-era cocktail lounge. When it got "on the level" in 1934 and obtained a legal license to sell, Davey's had already established itself as one of the city's best watering holes. At its current location since 1950, the bar offers everything a good night owl needs: Old Style on tap, level pool tables, arcade games, bar stools, and a great sound system.

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This swanky cocktail lounge, billing itself as KC's only supper club and martini bar, offers a refined setting. As a result, it's hugely popular with a young business crowd. The eccentric "Dog Menu" features international and American regional dishes, including Cajun shrimp, BBQ chicken pizza, rigatoni with Italian sausage, and a portobello burger. While the menu does in fact feature intriguing options, what really brings in crowds is Velvet Dog's impressive martini list, which features everything from traditional Manhattans and Cosmos to "rarer" Chocolate and Neapolitan varieties. A patio offers fresh air and a great place to pass warm Midwestern nights, especially if you've got bocce on your mind. On weekends, the place gets crowded quickly, so expect a wait.

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The Levee
Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray

The Levee has been a hit with lovers of live music for many decades now. Fans of regularly-booked local and regional jazz, blues, and rock acts head downstairs from Wednesday to Saturday to catch the shows. Patrons looking for a quieter scene check out sports highlights on TVs at the pleasant bar upstairs, where natural light spills in from street-facing windows. In need of a pick-me-up? Nightly drink specials begin at 8:30pm, and a menu, served late, offers stand-bys like queso dip, a grilled chicken sandwich, and a ½-lb. Angus burger.

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Asking customers to "eat hear," this food-lover's bar/music venue appeals to a mixed clientele – both gourmands and devotees of the latest local band. Record-related paraphernalia covers the walls and beyond; take note of the record sleeves recycled as menus. Drinks range from basic beer to high-end vodkas, while food options include custom-created pizzas that garner rave reviews. Live rock, dinner shows, weekly trivia, costume parties, benefits, and a roster of themed events keep the scene fresh and lively.

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One of KC's top nightlife joints, Beaumont offers cowboys everything from concerts and pool tables to country line dancing and a mechanical bull. Of course, Beaumont's not all country-western, as the eclectic clientele will no doubt attest, and it's not uncommon to find the two sand-pit volleyball courts packed with well-tanned co-eds and youngish business types. When the sun goes down and live music starts, only heaven (and the booking agent) know what's in store, since featured acts may be heavy metal, pop, Southern rock, or just plain country. Past performers have included such familiar names as the Del McCoury Band, Warren Brothers, Brother's Keeper, and Cracker. Cover charges vary, and advanced tickets may be purchased at the box office. Only cash and debit cards accepted.

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This eclectic club presents a variety of live music. One night, it's reggae; another night, blues; and another, rock. No matter what you come for, all the rhythms are great and all add to the place's hip ambience. While hanging out and listening to the tunes, grab a drink from the bar, play a game of pool, or get a breath of fresh air on the outdoor deck. Upstairs, an Irish tavern features live acoustic acts and its own bar; it's open Monday through Saturday, 7pm till 10pm.

Read more about Blayney's of Westport →