At the end of this year, The Peanut at 50th and Main streets will celebrate its 80th anniversary.
Kansas City’s oldest bar opened in 1933 as a speakeasy. Since then, it’s become famous for serving some of the city’s best buffalo wings and BLTs.
The Peanut has also expanded to four more locations: one downtown, one in Lee’s Summit, and two in Overland Park.
The newest Peanut, The Peanut on Santa Fe, popped up in downtown Overland Park last March.
Nick Burnau, David Cea, Mike Laird and Steve Brentano, fans of the original’s menu, convinced owner Melinda Kenny to let them license a location in Overland Park’s quaint historic district. The area has become a culinary melting pot in recent years: It’s home to Papa Keno’s pizzeria, Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant and El Salvadoreno, a Latin American cafe.
The Peanut on Santa Fe, which specializes in high-quality American bar food, moved in to the former Taste restaurant space. The owners didn’t have to do much to the handsome space, which boasts brick walls, a dark wood bar, a patio, and big windows that open up like garage doors on nice days.
The menu has the wings, BLTs and chili The Peanut is known for. The Peanut on Santa Fe also serves five (yep, five) kinds of nachos and brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. That menu includes classics such as biscuits and gravy ($6.99) and French toast ($6.95) as well as an original Peanut creation called Spicy Eggs ($7.99). That’s eggs scrambled with jalapeno and red bell peppers and served with toast and bacon.
Kitchen manager Duane Johnson says he and the owners added more salads and wraps to the menu to please health-conscious customers. They also added a burger named after Santa Fe Drive. The popular Santa Fe Burger is a spicy stack with Poblano peppers, corn salsa, and pepperjack cheese. It costs $8.99, unless you order it on a Tuesday, when every burger on the menu is $5.
The house-made Sangria, $4, is also a top seller. If you prefer beer, scan the extensive bar menu. There are 20 brews on tap, and five or six of those change seasonally. On Monday nights, any draft beer is $3 — even pricier craft beers such as Boulevard’s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale and Deschutes’ Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
Burnau says he hopes The Peanut on Santa Fe builds its own reputation as a place with consistently good food and service. So far, so good: When we went on a recent Monday evening, downtown Overland Park was dim and quiet, but The Peanut was glowing with activity and had the feel of a neighborhood hangout.
This is a place you could bring your family, a date, or a group of friends to watch the game. That’s the reputation Burnau and his co-owners are working to build.
“I want everybody to come here,” Burnau says.
Joyce Smith contributed to this report