Kansas City 'gayborhood' gets new addition

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

KC is soon to have a new gay bar

Kansas City can look forward to a new brick-and-mortar LGBTQ space! KCMO currently has between 4 and 6 local bars and one club that can be considered "gay bars".

This spring, the Fountain Haus will plant its flag on the corner of Broadway and Westport Road in early 2022 with a multi-level entertainment venue, each room embracing a unique concept and experience — effectively offering 4 bars in the building, including a club, speakeasy, restaurant, and rooftop.

Touted in the press release as "a place for everyone," Fountain Haus will be "a destination for the LGBTQ community and its allies, adding to the roster of landmark queer bars across the country."

Locally owned and operated by managing partners David Brinkerhoff, Dan Meiners and Ryan Overberg, each bring rich experience to the new concept.

Architectural rendering of new bar Fountain HausFountain Haus

With four unique spaces in one building - The Pump Room, The Cube, the rooftop Pool Deck, and The Siren Speakeasy - each area offers a distinct vibe through design and programming. Not just for nightlife, the Fountain Haus has plans to offer brunch and other weekday dining options throughout the three levels.

The Pump Room, the main lounge and dining area, and The Cube dance club will open in late January 2022. The rooftop Pool Deck will open in Spring, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Guests can start with Happy Hour and let their evening evolve throughout the venue, giving them the ability to bar hop throughout the complex.

The Fountain Haus will also be a cultural hub and foster the arts in Kansas City, utilizing both local and world-renowned talent, offering visitors multiple experiences on any given night. There will be small or large-scale events for charities, receptions, or parties.

Formerly occupied by HopCat and internationally recognized Tiki Cat, the Fountain Haus will have a single entrance on Broadway and light features that will surround the building along with a dedicated security team. Fountain Haus is committed to providing a safe, progressive, and dazzling environment for Westport, Kansas City, the queer community, and its allies.Private event booking is now available. Fountain Haus is currently accepting applications for bartenders, servers, talent, and other staff.

A long bar with modern table seatingFountain Haus

OUTvoices caught up with the managing partners to find out a little more about the venue:

What exactly was the lightbulb moment that KC would benefit from a 'gay bar' if we can loosely call it that?

KC has a long history in the queer community, so we aren’t starting the trend. There was a time when the city had at least two dozen LGBTQ bars and clubs, but unfortunately, most of those businesses are now closed. Today, the community has grown, so the demand is high, but the supply is low; however, our goal is to build a place to play together. 2021 is all about inclusion. With Fountain Haus, we are building a home for everyone. It’s an LGTBQ Haus, but we welcome our allies and want it to be that space where everyone feels safe and fabulous, no matter your orientation, race, or age. 2. What do you anticipate the demographic split to be re: orientation and gender?

We are purposely building a space that will appeal to everyone. Food, drinks, and entertainment will be available in each room, but you can pick the vibe you want. You will have the option to dance your heart out, relax on the roof for a chill sunset, dinner with a spectacular drag show, or a date in the speakeasy. We have endless possibilities to play within the haus.

What is your concept behind the entertainment component?

This is where we want to stand out. The team has extensive experience in this arena. Ryan Overberg worked in NYC at Therapy Lounge in Hells Kitchen as the entertainment director, working with and creating new shows and events to enhance seven days of entertainment. Dan Meiners and David Brinkerhoff own Studio Dan Meiners here in Kansas City, where Dan is a respected and awarded designer/planner of large-scale chic events. David has 30 years of experience in business, specializing in commercial and hospitality insurance. The 3 of us together can develop creative shows, events, and parties and know how to make them a reality. Weekends, of course, will be fabulous, but we plan on making incredible events on any day of the week. No Rules, No Limits.

Have we changed at all because of the pandemic in terms of how we socialize and mix in a venue and do you think this space addresses that shift?

COVID made us distance ourselves for everyone's safety, so it became a habit not to pack into a small space. Because of our size, people won't need to pack in and will be able to move freely throughout the space. Also, having a sizable outdoor rooftop space is a massive benefit for our guests to have open air.

The official grand opening of all the spaces will happen in April, tied to the celebration of Fountain Day with reservations required for the Siren Speakeasy. For more information, follow Fountain Haus on Facebook and on Instagram at @fountainhauskc.

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