As many of you know, Lakeside Tavern in Leawood at Mission Farms opened last week. Without a lot of promotion or a heavy advertising push you would have thought most people may have missed it. This is obviously not the case at all, as we discovered last Friday when we stopped by for dinner and a couple of drinks to check the place out. Even at 6:30, when most restaurants are just starting to get revved up for the night, Lakeside Tavern was buzzing with electricity and already on await. We were as surprised as many of the other hopeful diners to find this to be the case. Fortunately for us, one of our friends was smarter than I and had called ahead to have our names put on the list. After just a couple of minutes we were seated and had a chance to really look around and take in the transformation that has occurred in just a short couple of months since Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant closed in the same space about the first of September.
Our initial reaction to the interior was one of slight dismay. There are tons of TV’s showing all sorts of sporting events and the place has a wide open feel, however it was simply very blaa and missing any semblance of décor that helps define a restaurant or bar. There were no sports memorabilia,no art, nothing even lakey that helped you get a feeling of what kind of place this may be. Our hope is that management’s focus was on getting the place open and ensuring a good customer experience over decorating a bar, so for now we’ll give them a pass on this front.
Our server came over and delivered menus and took drink orders and gave us time to check out the food offerings. The menu has a ton of burger and sandwich selections, but very few actual entrée choices. Our table ordered a variety of different items and the food was definitely good and could easily be considered upscale bar food. Both the service and food were above average for what you’d expect in tavern / pub fare, but neither are perfect yet.
Since we refuse to review a restaurant / bar until it’s been open for long enough to work the kinks out, that won’t happen here. Lakeside Tavern has a very good location, an amazing patio (which they won’t be able to take advantage of for a few month snow) and the opportunity to be a good addition to the area. All in all there are many positives, a couple of disappointments, and a few questions remaining to be answered. We will check back in again soon to see if they improve upon some of the things that need addressing.