A Bar That Also Cares about the Food: The Peanut, 1933-


5000 Main Street KC MO

                                   The long-standing beloved original location of The Peanut, courtesy of Trip Advisor

Neighborhood bars dot the Kansas City landscape, but few are renowned for food. The Peanut is an exception. Louis and Eula D. Stone started their tavern in 1933 at 5000 Main, initially calling it Plaza Buffet and Bar-B-Q before renaming it The Peanut Barbecue. For decades Bernice Mitchell smoked the tavern’s outpouring of ham, and beef. 

                                        Before it was the Peanut, it was Plaza Buffet and Bar-B-Q (early ad)

After Louis and Eula passed away in 1966, the restaurant passed to Eula’s brother, Bill McKenzie, who continued to offer barbecue and the popular Big Boy sandwich, composed of roast beef, sauerkraut, barbeque sauce, and cheese. By the 1970s, peanuts, which had always been free, were sold in paper bags. The bar’s floor became slightly less littered with shells as a result.

Since 1981, the Peanut has been owned by the Kenny family. Rich Kenny came to Kansas City from Omaha and first co-founded Minsky’s Pizza with Gregg Johnson. He and his wife, Melinda, then purchased the Peanut. They kept it what it had always been, a bar that had a “back-door, enter-who-may, and stay-if-you-can-pay mentality,” wrote blogger Brenda Geiger. Melinda’s  BLT became legendary, as did the buffalo wings--the whole wing, not just a “drummet”-- slicked in fiery sauce and served with a cooling homemade blue cheese dip. 

In 1998, Rich and Melinda decided to license out the Peanut name, and at this point a number of Peanuts can be found in the Metro. Rick passed away in 2007, but Melinda continues to own the original Peanut as well as the location at 418 West Ninth Street. The aesthetic has endured for close to a century: all types and classes of society are welcome, and conversation combines with delicious food and drink.

This post is the sole property of Andrea Broomfield who must be acknowledged for any information borrowed.


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