Monday, January 25, 2010

Sing us a song, you're the piano man

I have a mild obsession with piano bars. I think they are the greatest places to unwind on a Friday or Saturday night. They play good music (requests from the audience, so you're guaranteed to hear what you want) and incorporate humor and activities to embarrass other people on everyone's behalf. It's fun, it's hilarious and you have to have a sense of humor to enjoy it.

Therefore, it weeds out the douchey type people. I would love it for that reason alone. Yet, there are many reasons why I love these magical places.

I get ridiculously excited when I live next to one.

When we heard there was a Howl at the Moon in Singapore. We went there for my birthday.

It was a blast. One of the pianists was from Chicago and the other was from New Zealand. It was a very interesting show because the guys combined their two styles of music, humor and playlists. I was laughing the whole night.

Until we got our bill. That part was not at all funny. (For the record, I don't blame HATM for it, I blame Singapore and their outrageous alcohol taxes.)

So you can imagine just how ecstatic I was to find a piano bar in my old college town when we were home. When I left to move to Singapore, the closest piano bar was in Columbia, Missouri.

If you know anything about the KU/MU rivalry, you know how painful it is for a jayhawk to step foot in Columbia.

And as much as I like the pianos, I just couldn't bring myself to go there again. (I also can't easily go to the recently opened HATM in Kansas City because it's an hour's drive from where we stay.)

So thank you Piano Gods for bringing me a piano place of my own in Lawrence.

This is The Barrel House.

I friggin' love it. Not only are the players there extremely talented, but the place is huge and has four private rooms.

The manager let us hang out in the Blue Moon room for the evening.

(Picture from

It was awesome. All 20 of us had a perfect view of the stage, our own waitress (you can hire your own bartender if you choose) and plenty of seats.

We had enough privacy to talk amongst ourselves without interrupting the show and yet could hear and participate in everything that went on down on stage which was quite entertaining.

We got there early because the weather wasn't cooperating with us and it was pretty mellow at first. We walked right in from the snow without having to wait at all. Things really picked up around eleven when all of the students finally staggered in though. I'd suggest coming just a while before then to avoid standing in line.

It was a great night.

And when we got this bill, we were again shocked but this time at the incredibly low amount. It was a fourth of what we paid at the Singapore place for relatively the same amount of drinks.

So yes, I love The Barrel House. If you're in the Lawrence area, you should definitely check it out.

(As always, no one paid me to say any of the above statements. I simply like to tell readers when a place rocks.)


Catt said...

have u been to that bar thats all hospital equipment.. i think its at clark quay?? im thinking i might check it out for shits and giggles while im in Singapore in april

Megan said...

Hey Catt,

Yeah! We went there the night my husband proposed. It was a really cool experience. We've never been back though because our drinks were crazy expensive. I got one of the IV bag drinks (I think it's called Sex on the Drip) and got charged something like S$60! It's a fun place to say that you've been, but not one I'd frequent. :)


H3 said...

I went there in October with some girlfriends over KU's homecoming weekend. Guess who came to play, the KU band! Yup, so fun. That is the only way to make a piano bar better add the KU band playing fight songs. The place went nuts! BTW the last time I saw the KU band at the bar was the night of Adam's wedding when we found out that KU was going to the Championship game. (I was 8 months pregnant). Don't worry, I wasn't drinking.