Archive for Monday, March 14, 2011


River City Jules: Let’s open a bar for grown-ups

March 14, 2011


I have a business plan I’d like to run past you. Let me know if you would like to pony up the capital.

We need a bar in Lawrence for people who are old enough to remember “The Love Boat” but young enough to know how to YouTube it.

This bar will not charge a cover. If it does, it will use the money raised at the door to pay for things like clean bathrooms and large-print drink menus, though you will be able to opt out of paying the cover by promising to offer up your seat to anyone older than you who looks like she would like to sit down.

But that won’t happen too often in my bar, because my bar will have ample seating.

And not some low-to-the-ground, foam-stuffed vinyl piece that sticks to the backs of your thighs when they sweat. My bar will have firm, comfortable seating, and the barstools will all have backs. They will also rotate only 120 degrees each way and be firmly bolted into the floor to reduce the risk of injury.

The floor, by the way, will never be sticky, it will be clean and grit-free. The kind of place a girl could leave her purse. But no girl will ever leave her purse on the floor, for instead of uptight bouncers at the door who greet each female patron like a nuisance and a bother in the otherwise important world of counting heads and confiscating fake IDs, my bar will have men stationed around the floor offering to hold purses and coats. They will also pull women aside to let them know when their lipstick needs touching up, when their mascara has flaked and when they have spinach dip in their teeth.

Because my bar won’t just serve drinks, it will serve people.

Real people, with real needs. Like good lighting. I have reached an age where the line between lighting that diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles and that which allows a gal my age to read is a fine one. But my bar will walk that line with unwavering balance.

Speaking of balance, platform stilettos are prohibited. So are rump-hugging minidresses and hair glitter. My bouncers will be prepared to wrap a blanket around anyone dressed like Snooki and drag her to the nearest Chico’s for an intervention.

And, perhaps most important, the music won’t be too loud, because we know if you really wanted to stand around a crowded bar without a dance floor and not be able to hear the person next to you, you would come wearing an iPod. So no loud music. And nothing recorded after Kurt Cobain. Elvis through Nirvana, that’s it.

Live (acoustic) music every Friday, trivia every Sunday, no strobe lights or lasers ever, and no disco balls before 9 or after 11.

Finally, my husband has already come up with a name for this bar. So until another investor comes along, “High Maintenance” will remain under its current management.

— Julie Dunlap can be reached at


BruceWayne 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe you could call it "Vanity"? While you seem to have major problems with getting older, some of us actually embrace it.

RiverCityJules 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, Bruce, how I have missed your charm these last few weeks, but I'm glad to know you are happy with your crotchety old self, alias and all. Have a great week, old man!

BigPrune 7 years, 1 month ago

If your bar requires bouncers, then you need to up the drink prices to keep out the KU students (unless they are female KU students, of course, looking for a middle aged man that looks much younger than his years who also drives a sports car and spends money on pretty things for others)

strateup 7 years, 1 month ago

If you build it, they will come. Count me in.

throwdown_wallet 7 years, 1 month ago

An important part of getting older is being able to see the humor in a variety of situations. RCJules seems to be just fine in that regard!

RiverCityJules 7 years, 1 month ago

Big Prune: Hoping the dress code will keep out the students, but there is definitely room to raise the drink prices, I haven't made any final plans yet.

Strateup: If you fund it, I will build

T_W: Thank you for laughing with me! My 96-year-old grandmother never complained about a birthday, saying it always beats the alternative. Her humor has filled her 96 years with the kind of joy we all should have in our lives.

Have a great week, Go 'Hawks!!

Kirk Larson 7 years, 1 month ago

By "ample" seating I assume you mean "wide".

Richard Payton 7 years, 1 month ago

Some may want to eat that spinach between your teeth. Those types turn into superman and have an enchanted evening with Lois Lane. Others offer a toothbrush and say brush your teeth and don't forget to floss. That type is Roger Rabbit who is quick to point out your flaws. That type often goes home alone.

BruceWayne 7 years, 1 month ago

and as far as these guys standing around holding your purse and coat...just don't touch them, it's illegal.

tonytman 7 years, 1 month ago

There is a bar like that or as close as you can get Shenago lounge on wakarusa. The avage age is 35+ they still have a juke box that takes $1 bills with cds in it. Not the internet so you get 4 songs for a doller. The bathrooms are clean. there are enough TVs to watch the game but not one every 3 feet.The after noon crowed knows each other and women can leave their purse on the bar people look out for each other and you always get hello and welcome. This is a neighborhood bar were every one can be one of the neighbors . Stop by set down and join in you will see just how comfertable it is.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

"Bring on the dancing girls and put the champaign on ice"

beeshlii 7 years, 1 month ago


dizzy_from_your_spin 7 years, 1 month ago


I want all of the benefits of living in a college town but demand that I be shielded from the pitfalls.

Most of the adults grew up and moved elsewhere.

somedude20 7 years, 1 month ago

Ostrich becomes classy when paired with Grap MD 20/20

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 1 month ago

I wouldn't share this opinion about open-air dining with the French, if I were you. Also, I fail to see how either tofu or ostrich are déclassé.

My first date with my husband was at Fedora's on the Plaza and we ate ostrich steaks with a roast vegetable strudel with truffles. It was a lovely meal at a nice restaurant.

chicago95 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes! Maybe at Orchard Corners (Bob Billings Pkwy and Kasold Drive.) No TVs. Jazz (or even Fado!) -- not country, not oldies. Tapas -- not wings. Wine -- not beer. Grown up conversation. Count me in.

Bursting 7 years, 1 month ago

haha i like, I'll just stick with the Red Lyon as my place of choice. Sorry Jules...

RiverCityJules 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, the Red Lyon.... 1994, I had never been to the Red Lyon before, but some girlfriends thought that would be a fun place to hit on my bachelorette party bar crawl. We got to the door, I gave my younger sister my ID, as she was not yet 21. (Am I past the statute of limitations to tell this story??) The bouncer let her in as well as her 19-year-old friend. He let the rest of us over-21-year-olds in too until he came to my friend, Melissa. Melissa, 23 years old and from Scottsdale, presented her ID. The bouncer - a complete a-hole - refused to let her in. I argued with him that she was legit, truly 23, truly from Arizona. He told me he could get out the book and show me all the ways her (real, actual, government-issued) license was fake. I pulled the rest of the girls back out, told the bouncer he sucked at his job, that he'd just let two fakes in but was refusing the real one and left. Did not go back until 2008. Had a marvelous time, and no one questioned my 30-something friends. Clean bathrooms, grit-free floor, well-lit, they could use more seating though :)

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