Historic Boutique Hotel in Downtown Kansas City
As the saying goes, “Jazz was born in New Orleans, but it grew up in Kansas City.” And that’s more than just a boast. The city’s own style of the music flourished during the Prohibition era, when Kansas City continued to allow alcohol and became an entertainment capital. That legacy of jazz continues today in clubs and bars all over town, including the onsite lounge at Hotel Phillips, which has an ongoing music series that spotlights local jazz artists. It’s fitting, considering the hotel also got its start in the 1930s. It has since been renovated and redecorated and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hotel Phillips is located downtown in the heart of the local art scene, and it taps into Kansas City’s artistry in a number of ways. The original lobby has many art-deco details from the 1930s: dark walnut paneling and a golden statue of the goddess of dawn, to name a few. Hotel Phillips also has an artist-in-residence, Trey Bryan, who can often be spotted around the lobby or mezzanine drawing illustrations of the historic architecture and guests’ day-to-day activities. Look for several of his large-scale paintings hung throughout the hotel.
The onsite restaurant, 12 Baltimore, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Daily specials include sandwiches, soups, and entrees such as scallop-and-mushroom linguine. The restaurant also boasts the longest happy hour in downtown Kansas City—2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday. This is also where musicians play for the Jazz At The Hotel Phillips music series. Alternatively, you can head to the mezzanine bar on weekday evenings for complimentary wine-and-cheese receptions.
Kansas City, Missouri: Barbecue, Jazz, and Nightlife
In Kansas City, the ratio of fountains to barbecue joints is roughly 2:1—that’s more than 200 public fountains and more than 100 restaurants serving the city’s signature slow-smoked meat. Though Kansas City is known for its aquatic architecture and barbecue, it has also evolved into one of the nation’s artistic hubs. Here you’ll find a world-class art museum, a legendary history of jazz and blues, and a brand-new performing-arts center for opera, theater, and music. Add a die-hard sports community and a downtown Forbes named one of America’s best, and the at-times overlooked Kansas City has all the makings of a memorable getaway: Midwestern charm, culture, and an endless supply of sauce-slathered ribs.
Though the storied jazz scene continues to thrive in numerous clubs around 18th and Vine, it’s the burgeoning Power & Light District that draws a fashionable late-night crowd. This nine-block neighborhood in the middle of downtown is home to more than 50 shops, restaurants, and bars. While the weather is still warm, head to the open-air rooftop lounges at Elements and The Jones for a drink under the moonlight.
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