How many of you like to immerse yourselves in the local history? What if you have the chance to do that while enjoying a tasty meal or beverage? The Kansas City metro is made up of a variety of smaller towns that have been engulfed by the growing city limits. Each of these townships have their own unique history and flavors. A visit to Riverpark Pub and Eatery offers a chance for historic Parkville dining, just a hundred feet from a Lewis and Clark campsite.
We want to thank Main Street Parkville and Riverpark Pub for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Bringing the Power
To get a true appreciation for the building that houses Riverpark Pub, we need to look back to a much different time. By the mid-1800’s, Parkville had become a river port, which was growing faster than Kansas City. The coming Civil War struck a blow for the city, as the warfare violence in this hamlet escalated. After the war ended, focus returned to growing commerce in the area. In 1875, Col. George Park and Dr. John McAfee established Park College. The popularity of this higher education center grew and expansion was required. Hauling coal up the hill from the railroad depot became too labor intensive, so in 1917 construction began on the Park College Power Plant. It served the community for many decades, before becoming obsolete as a power provider. These days it has been renovated into the Riverpark Pub.
View From Above
We arrived for a Friday evening dinner and were seated with a good view of the main dining area. Creating a restaurant from an old electric plant can be tricky, but they did a great job showcasing some of the unique structure features. The bar area is built around the old furnace, which makes an interesting conversation piece. Climbing the staircase to the second floor offers views from above. The large opening allowed space for the boilers, and now makes an architectural statement. All of this ambiance makes Riverpark Pub the perfect spot for some historic Parkville dining.
Historic Parkville Dining
It was time for us to review the menu to determine the evening’s choices. Riverpark offers an interesting collection of dishes, which lean toward the pub style of dining. Tons of appetizer options are available, and it would be easy to create a tapas style meal from this section of the menu. Riverpark sources the majority of their ingredients from local vendors, which kicks up the freshness level. We were both in a casual mood, and opted for handheld food. Crystal chose the Riverpark Burger, which is made with a half-pound burger patty. Some crispy onion rings accented her meal perfectly.
The Friday special, at Riverpark Pub, is the Friday Fish Fry. It’s a lot like fish and chips, except they toss in fried shrimp and scallops. I enjoyed this additional variety. Showing that I can dine on a healthier note, I subbed in sweet potato fries. I realize this meal isn’t true health food, but it was oh so good. The cod fillets were light and flavorful, but the real taste came from the fried scallops. I have to admit that this is the first time I have had them prepared this way.
Before we dined, it was time for the standard million photos. Crystal sat patiently, as always, while I captured every possible angle of each dish. I’ve learned to photograph my dish first, so she will have to wait for me to complete her dish last. Actually, she is more than willing to participate in this ritual, as she wants to make sure we present the meals as accurately as possible. While we dined, we struck up a conversation with our table neighbors. It’s not unusual to get sideways looks when I am taking a bunch of pictures of our food. After explaining the reason, the conversation moved to destinations that we should experience. This is one of the highlights of blogging. We find so many people willing to share their experiences with us, and it confirms that most people love to explore the world around them. There are new experiences to be found all over, including some historic Parkville dining opportunities.