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The burgandy awning signals customers that they have arrived at Bar-istro in downtown Lee's Summit.

Shifting Gears at Bar-istro

In 2008 a small micro winery opened in downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri. As time passed, the owner saw the need to expand their offerings, so they would attract a wider clientele. After an extensive renovation in 2015, they reopened under the name of Bar-istro. Located in the main downtown business district, at 127 SE 3rd Street, they have seen a resurgence in popularity. We visited them to see what all of the buzz was about. A white plate holds creamy hummus topped with chopped vegetables. Assorted pita chips ring the hummus and are used for dipping.

Our arrival

It was mid-afternoon, and we were looking for a small bite to tide us over until our dinner reservation time. The Red Pepper Hummus looked to be a great fit. It was creamy, and flavorful, and served with two different types of pita chips. This was a good choice to accompany the cocktails we had ordered. If it had been later in the evening, we may have selected the Gourmet Cheesecake Flight, which includes miniature versions (two each) of New York, Turtle, and White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecakes. We are guessing these would be delicious with a couple of their specialty drinks.

Three bright red skewered maraschino cherries rest on the rim of a martini glass. They are drizzled with choclate sauce, and hover above a red colored drink that tastes like a chocolate covered cherry candy.

Liquid Libations at Bar-istro

They continue their tradition of wine making, and offer a wide range of varieties to choose from. It does seem that some of their newfound popularity comes from the expanded drink menu. Here customers will find options that include; shots, beers, cocktails, and their popular selection of martinis. Having to narrow our selection to one each was difficult, since the names and descriptions called for closer inspection. In the end, Crystal decided to try the Chocolate Covered Cherry martini. The bartender went to work blending two vodkas, Raspberry Pucker, crème de cocoa, and a dash of grenadine. A hearty shake mixed the ingredients, which he gently poured into the glass. Across the rim he placed a trio of skewered maraschino cherries, which he drizzled with chocolate. We were pleasantly surprised at the presentation. The real shock came in tasting the concoction. As unbelievable as it sounds, it tasted exactly like a chocolate covered cherry.

A blue drink is contained within a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Drops of red grenadine give the appearance of blood drops in thei drink named Shark Bite.

Fun Drink Options

I had scoped out the menu in advance, and one specific cocktail captured my imagination. The Shark Bite is a mixture of spiced rum, light rum, blue curacao, some sweet & sour. This is shaken until well blended, and then poured into an ice filled glass. The final step is to add a few drops of grenadine, which suddenly makes the name appropriate. The drink had an island vibe, which made me think of our time spent on the beach. It certainly helps slow the pace of the day.

The co-authors are pictured with the two signature cocktails.

By the time we prepared to move on, the number of customers had increased, but we now understood the reason for their success. We made note that they will often have live musical entertainment on Friday evenings. This is a fun venue with a fresh, and somewhat quirky menu. Bar-istro will certainly be a repeat stop for us, when visiting downtown Lee’s Summit.

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