NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In North Kansas City, Chicken N Pickle is an entertainment complex unlike any other.
“I always say that Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports, but Chicken N Pickle in itself is also one of the fastest growing places,” said Cole Thompson, pickleball manager.
“We have six locations and by the end of hopefully this year, maybe sooner, we’ll have two more.”
The NKC complex houses eight pickleball courts, outdoor lawn games and a casual, chef-driven restaurant featuring chicken.
“We focus a lot on our food. We have stuff that a normal bar guest would love to have, wings and queso and everything like that. We also have salads, quinoa, gluten-free stuff for people, skillet cookies for the kids, cake pops,” said Thompson.
“We are fully booked from 8 o’clock in the morning, heck even 7:30 way before we open all the way probably until 12 o’clock,” said Thompson.
“Probably from 1 to 3 or 4, we have dead spots here and there. I would suggest coming out to play, bring a group of people, or take one of us. We have pickleballers that would love to come and hit with you and show you what Pickleball is all about.”
Take a short seven-minute drive to the historic East Bottoms and you’ll find J. Rieger.
“J. Rieger represents Kansas City in the sense that we are Kansas City’s hometown distillery. We date back to 1887. We were founded in the West Bottoms as Kansas City was really getting started and growing,” said Ryan Maybee, co-founder and managing director.
A 3,000 square-foot museum inside the building tells the story of the rise and fall of the company because of prohibition. Now, more than a century later, the distillery is back and better than ever.
“We are known for our Kansas City whiskey, that’s our number one spirit. We also make a really beautiful gin, a great vodka, and we have a few other items like the Caffé Amaro,” said Maybee.
The distillery is open seven days a week for tours, which includes a stop in the tasting room. There are also multiple bars and event spaces to explore.
“You can grab a drink from any number of the bars and wander around,” said Maybee, “Electric Park Garden Bar is the biggest attraction where we are getting the most people on a daily basis. We really take the cocktails to a different level out there to include a lot of frozen offerings, a lot of cocktails on tap, we do ice cream floats.”
Electric Park also features a food truck with a playful menu.
“We are really focused on theme park fare out of that kitchen, so burgers, fries, fried chicken. We do occasional barbecue specials,” said Maybee.
“Upstairs you can have a full dinner or just snacks, appetizers and drinks. We really have a lot of fun and creativity with the cocktails. Depending on where you are in the building, you’re going to have a different menu at different bars,” added Maybee.
On your way out, hop on the only distillery slide in the world. The 40-foot custom built slide in the Monogram Lounge is the coolest way to exit the building.
“People always mention the slide. Even if they don’t initially have a connection with the name J Rieger or J Rieger and Company, they’re like, oh the place with the slide. It’s kind of become a signature and a hallmark,” said Maybee.
A building-wide happy hour is offered Monday thru Friday from 3pm – 6pm. Swing by and see for yourself why J. Rieger & Co. is “O! So good!”