The Sentinel

The Pitch: Mike’s is closed, new restaurant in its place to stray from “college dive bar” scene

We've reached the end of an era.

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Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Ryan Crawford, Editor-in-Chief

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After the Rockhurst class of 2017 graduated in mid-May, the doors to the dignified Mike’s Tavern at 5424 Troost Ave. were no longer open for business. Some said it was for renovations, others feared they were closed for good.

On Monday, though, we got our answer. According to a report in The Pitch, Mike’s has officially closed and takes decades of memories along with it. In its place, a new restaurant, Brady’s Public House, will be open by the time students return in August.

“For decades, Mike’s Tavern was one of the city’s great dives, a grimy, cheap, lowdown joint that attracted a wonderful mix of college students, neighborhood regulars, drunks, lowlifes, and petty criminals,” wrote David Hudnall in The Pitch. “Sometimes there was live music. Sometimes it was a frat party.”

But some students and even those in the neighborhood surrounding the area may feel a bit slighted by new owners of Brady’s, Ray Dunlea and Shaun Brady. “We’re turning away from the college dive bar thing,” Brady told The Pitch. “We’re going for the people in Brookside. We want to be an upscale destination for people in the neighborhood who want good food and good drinks.

“So I think people who come in expecting a $2 beer–they’re going to be disappointed, because that’s not happening.”

As a business attempting to gain a foothold in the community, it’ll be interesting to see how the business strategy of “we’re going for the people in Brookside” will work on Troost Ave., which has long been considered an economic divide in Kansas City. People are probably not too surprised to hear that Mike’s is closing; the business appeared to have been struggling in its final months. However, Brady’s comments before his new restaurant opens may rub some people the wrong way.

While it obviously was never a part of the university in any official capacity, Mike’s was home to many community and alumni events over the years. Graduates of Rockhurst from 20 years and beyond have fond memories of spending their “glory days” at the bar.

According to its Facebook page, which is still active, Mike’s was a Kansas City fixture since its opening in 1964. They were often known for their outrageous and amusing posts on social media that included food and drink specials for the day, but those will be no longer.

Mike’s was a place where all students were welcome, regardless of what you did on campus. Heck, even professors sometimes joked about the tavern as a place to go study.

The neighborhood restaurant and bar was often frequented by students of both Rockhurst and University of Missouri-Kansas City. “You (Mike’s) were the bar I could wear sweatpants to, not only because I was lazy, but because it felt so natural,” wrote Ryan Boersig, ’17, on his Facebook page. “I’ll always remember our times together and no one could ever take away the moments we shared. You will forever have a place in my heart, and I hope whatever those new owners do to you, you don’t lose track of who you are or what you are about because you are beautiful.”

We’ve reached the end of an era. The “Moose” is officially no longer … “loose on Troost.”

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The student news site of Rockhurst University
The Pitch: Mike’s is closed, new restaurant in its place to stray from “college dive bar” scene