Take a look inside the Midwest’s newest megaclub

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An artist's rendering of the soon-to-open Fountain Haus
An artist’s rendering of the soon-to-open Fountain Haus (BRP Architects)

Something big is about to land in the Westport district of Kansas City. After sitting vacant for over 15 months, a new team has taken over the premises formerly occupied by HopCat. It relaunches this month as one of the biggest LGBTQ venues in the Midwest, Fountain Haus.

The building splits into four distinct zones, offering a whole evening of entertainment. Patrons move from one area to the next: a bar crawl all within one address, so to speak.

Fountain Haus is set to offer:

The Pump Room: The main lounge and relaxed dining area, named the “pump room” as it’s at “the heart of the fountain.”

The Cube: A club and dancefloor area.

An artist's rendering of the Cube club room at Fountain Haus
An artist’s rendering of The Cube at Fountain Haus

Rooftop Pool Deck: A scenic outlook area for when the weather’s good, the decor will hark back to mid-century Palm Springs. There won’t be an actual pool on the property, but this zone will give off strong poolside vibes.

The Siren: A more exclusive, upscale speakeasy type of area for food, cocktails, and intimate performances.

The three men behind Fountain Haus are David Brinkerhoff, Dan Meiners, and Ryan Overberg (formerly of NYC’s Therapy Lounge).

 

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The team tells PitchKC patrons will come to Fountain Haus to drink, eat, enjoy a show, or dance to the early hours.

Overberg says the name was inspired by Kansas City’s famous fountains, and by the drag balls of the late 80s and early 90s.

“It’s your space, your safe house. Where your mother, house brothers and sisters, and your chosen family can come together. We welcome everyone in it.”

They stress the venue is for all, noting that Kansas City’s beloved lesbian bar, Tootsie’s, closed more than a decade ago.

“Everyone should be able to come there … There should be a world where we all play in the same sandbox together,” Overberg told KC Today last month.

Related: Check out the Boys & BBQ of Kansas City, MO

“It’s also really focused on LGBTQ+ allies because we didn’t want to make it just a gay bar,” Brinkerhoff, recently told In Kansas City. “We wanted to make it a place for all of us to get going, have fun, and be safe.”

From Broadway to Fountain Haus

An artist’s rendering of The Pump Room at Fountain Haus

Overberg himself first set foot in Kansas City 17 years ago as an actor in the Broadway tour of Hairspray. He fell in love with the fountains and the vibe of the city. Kansas City is home to a thriving theater and music scene, so he says a regular show tunes night is a given.

At the moment, the Pump Room and Cube are due to open this month, followed by the other areas in the next couple of months. On the corner of ​​Broadway and Westport Road, Fountain Haus is gearing up for a big, official launch party on April 12. The date is also Fountain Day in Kansas City, when the city’s 48 public fountains spring back to life for the summer months.

Five other gay places to check out in Kansas City

• Missie B’s

Running since 1994, with drag shows and drink specials, casual gay bar Missie B’s is a local favorite. It’s proudly open 365 days of the year (with an additional Upstairs bar open Thursdays to Sundays). The venue underwent major renovations in 2020.

• Sidekick’s Saloon

Looking for beary guys or line-dancing fun? You’ll find both at Sidekick’s Saloon, which is also in the midtown/Westport district of Kansas City. It’s a difficult bar to miss: Just look out for the rainbow blinds in the windows and the big, neon cowboy boot outside.

 

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• Woody’s Classic Sports Pub

The Pride steps at Woody's in Kansas City
The Pride steps at Woody’s in Kansas City (Photo: WoodysKansasCity/Facebook)

Woody’s is another Westport institution that prides itself on its inclusivity for the whole LGBTQ family. Besides screening big games, it hosts regular events, such as ‘Bear Cave’, ‘Beers, Steers and Queers’, and ‘U-Haul’, aimed at “all-female identities”.

• Sidestreet Bar

Sidestreet Bar in Kansas City
Sidestreet Bar in Kansas City (Photo: Sidestreet)

A friendly, gay dive bar with a pool table, sports games on the screens, and an outdoor decking area. Sidestreet Bar has a loyal following, particularly whenever the Kansas City Chiefs are playing.

• Bistro303

Upscale but not snooty, Bistro303 is a gay bar and restaurant that welcomes all (although a big rainbow flag outside the front entrance makes it clear it’s primarily a queer space). Regular events include a video games night, along with many fundraisers for community organizations. A large cocktail menu, heated patio, and top-notch food make this a very popular brunch spot.

 

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