Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chappell's in NKC: Memorable or just Memorabilia?

Well Wes, since you have broken the ice and don't forget Bull's August '07 discovery, I will throw down as well.

Most KC Northlander's know about and are proud of Chappell's Restaurant and it's success and agree that the memorabilia collection is awe-inspiring and that if you want to get ahead in business in the Northland you would do well to make friend's with the owner, Jim Chappell. However, as Wes learned, they don't go there expecting great service.

I stopped by Chappell's on a Friday after work recently. Brent's comment's
on Bull's post are accurate, Jim Chappell disdains the term "Sports Bar". But, when you walk in there's nothing to greet you but the bar and a bartender! Most "Restaurants" have someone at the door to great you at 8:00 pm on a Friday.

The only decent tap beer was Sam Adam's Boston Lager and Boulevard Wheat. Otherwise there was a Budricer and two, cout 'em two Michelob Ultra taps!

This tells you the place appeals mostly to boomer's, which means the lunch and dinner crowd with the occasional autograph signing and frequent post-political/business event meet-up. There were 15 to 20 people in the bar, which would be sparse for most good restaruants on a Friday night, but not unexpected since the Chiefs were playing on Sunday and these days most of us boomer's can really only handle one social drinking event per weekend.

I think the crowd was part of a reunion weekend, because everyone was greeting each other with a boozy "How ya' been?" A regular stream of people were coming out of a room in the back fanning themselves and complaining about how, "damn hot is it back there!" I overheard one lady complaining about her beer being hot.

I was able to find a spot with a good view of the single Hi-Def Big Screen. There was one bartender working and after a minute she approached me with a blank stare and a deadpan, "What can I get you?" I ordered the SA and asked for a menu. I was looking for some kind of appetizer when I came across an item I haven't seen on any menu outside of Stroud's: Chicken Livers and Gizzards, with gravy for dipping sauce. Gotta have me some o' those.

I watched the Red Sox and Angels play-off game and scanned the memorabilia while trying to slowly sip my beer because I knew the bartender would not be looking my way again before the food arrived. There is lots of Kansas City A's stuff which I always find fascinating. But the piece I found most interesting was the 1948 Cleveland Indians jersey of Lou Boudreau, who I think is the must under-appreciated baseball player that ever lived. He was the Indians manager AND full time shortstop for 8 years from 1942-50 which included a batting championship in '44 and a World Series Championship and MVP in '48.

I asked the bartender for a Boulevard Wheat when she brought the food. She asked if it was OK if she used the same mug, sheepishly explaining something about a broken dishwasher. I didn't protest, which was good because I needed all the beer I could get, what with all the salt the livers, gizzards and gravy were swimming in.

If ever NKC is a convenient place to meet someone, by all means meet at Chappell's. Order a SA Lager or Bully Wheat, sip it slowly and have a walk around. Then go down to Chip Shot at 1621 Swift Ave. The decor is unremarkable, but there are plenty of TV's, good food and good service at reasonable prices.


Bull E. Vard said...

Wow you went ahead and put a label in for gizzards. Do you plan on writing more about gizzards? Maybe you should put up a poll for best gizzards in KC.

Muddy Mo said...

Sure. I can make it an annual event.