Saturday night out

I turn 44 on Sunday. That being a sucky night of the week to celebrate anything, Brett's taking me to dinner Saturday night. I was told to choose anywhere I like, so I did (not McDonalds) and I'm looking forward to it. I'm also noticing a number of odd connections. Join me for a rambling, mildly interesting and ultimately pointless story all centering on one intersection in town won't you?

We're having dinner at The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange at 20th and Main. They're having their first Rieger Invitational, a four course dinner prepared by chefs from four different restaurants in KC, Lawrence, St. Louis and Chicago.

This building is the parking lot where Port Fonda parks their Airstream and serves up Mexican street food every weekend. You know we love Port Fonda, The Facebook records a check-in for us nearly every weekend, and after drinks with my co-workers tonight I stopped for chilaquiles to soak up the scotch.

The restaurant is supposed to be very good, and in an old building called the Rieger Hotel. For years it was the Dixie Belle, KC's most infamous gay bar, with one of the nastiest (and frankly, most fun!) basements I've ever had a drink in.

The building was eventually bought and renovated with two very nice apartments upstairs and the restaurant space on the ground floor. The formerly filthy and scandalous basement was renovated (with industrial strength cleaners I'm sure) and became Ryan Mabee's speakeasy called Manifesto. There is also a two car garage off the back alley serving the larger (full 3rd floor/part of the 2nd floor plus the rooftop garden) apartment via both stairs and an elevator.

The building is currently for sale and you can see some photographs and the floor plans here. On the representing realtor's site the price is down to 1.85 million rather than the 2.1 on the information site. We toured the larger apartment on a downtown loft tour a few years ago. Its a beautiful renovation overall, although I think the fireplace in the main apartment is far too big, and the open shower in the master bath desperately needs floor to ceiling glass. The kitchen set up is a bit wonky for me, but it's nothing that couldn't be fixed. If I had a couple mil hanging around I could totally live there.

Except, and this is the final connection, it would kill me to pay the current owners anywhere near the list price. Who are they? I did some research and I believe it's the Omers. Yes, that wretched woman who's BMW convertible I yanked the bumper off while parking the Rover when I stopped to buy dog poop bags in Brookside.

Apparently they've moved to northern California where I hope she and her 325 continue to be battered by bad drivers and careless parkers. I'm sure the carrying costs aren't anything they can't handle, but I can't help but smile every time I see the For Sale sign. Yeah, the market's been hard, but what she's putting out into the world isn't doing her any favors either.


John J. Tackett said...

Best wishes for a very happy birthday.
__ The Devoted Classicist

David said...

Thank you TDC!

Russ Manley said...

And many happy returns, David.

David said...

Thanks Russ!

kjm said...

I hope you have a great birthday!

ChrisToronto said...

Happy Birthday David. LOVE the sign! Thanks for the laugh.