Bar: Paddy O’Quigley’s Pub and Grill
Location: 119th and Roe, Leawood, KS
Type: Irish by name, sports bar by design, meat market by night
In Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain says “You can sense a well-run restaurant just as you can sense the fear and uncertainty—the smell of certain doom—in a disorganized, flailing one. A clean bathroom tells you a lot, surprisingly. If the people running the restaurant can’t keep it clean—and this is a part of the restaurant they allow you to see—you can imagine what their prep kitchen, downstairs, hidden away, looks like.” (I’ll find the page number reference the moment my books are out of storage. At the moment, I’m not digging through 60-odd boxes worth of books to find it and double check.) Essentially, then, you can tell a lot about the restaurant you’re in based on the bathroom.
Bourdain’s quote makes sense, but leaves me in a quandary: how does one begin to comprehend the bathroom in Paddy O’Quigley’s?
The problem with the bathroom at Paddy’s wasn’t the cleanliness. It wasn’t spotlessly perfect – it was a Saturday night, so this is understandable – but it was clean. So we’re good there.
Here’s the issue: there’s a full-length mirror in the stall.
No, I didn’t write that wrong. Yes, you read that right. There is a full-length mirror IN THE STALL. Like, behind the door, only visible once you’re in the stall with the door closed. So you can…watch yourself squat on the toilet? Count your zits or wrinkles or skin imperfection of your choice in the harsh fluorescent lighting? Hope there isn’t a camera hiding behind the mirror? Primp? (Primping is not happening in my world until after I’ve washed my hands.)
The thing of it is that it’s pretty much impossible not to watch yourself while you’re sitting there doing your thing. Unless you look at the floor, which, like I said, isn’t dirty by any means, but. It’s the bathroom floor of a bar. The bathroom floor of a bar is nowhere on my list of “preferable things to look at while sitting on a toilet.”
Anyway, so that’s Mirror Thing Part One. Mirror Thing Part Two is what happens when you get done in the stall and go to wash your hands: there’s a television behind the mirror by the sink, and this television loops a commercial which prominently features women in tiny bikinis. Seeing this caused me to look around and verify, via the lack of urinals, that I was in the women’s restroom and hadn’t mistakenly gone through the wrong door.
So to say the least, the bathroom experience was weird enough that I’d prefer not to repeat it, and I know that I’m not alone in this because there were a lot of women complaining about the stall mirrors while I was washing my hands. This stall mirror thing is deeply unpopular.
Now, 450-odd words later, here’s what the rest of the bar is like: if you go early enough and there’s a game on, it’s a fantastic place to watch sports. There are a ton of screens, easily visible from every table. On the night we were there, the crowd was happily shouting and groaning along to the Chiefs disaster game. When the game ended, a dj appeared and started karaoke. This is when the meat market side came out – I should have realized that the sheer number of mirrors in the bathroom meant that this bar has meat market tendencies – but the karaoke itself was surprisingly good. The list of songs was long enough to require a binder, and there were some SERIOUSLY talented singers.
The beer list is adequate for a night out with friends when beer isn’t the focus of the evening. They’ve got all the undrinkable crap plus a bunch of Boulevard and a few other craft brews. They’ve got an entertaining list of alcoholic coffee drinks (aka “Irish Coffees,” one of the few nods towards being an Irish pub that I saw all evening).
Overall, this place was fun, the karaoke was pretty good, the meat market aspect wasn’t out of control by the time we left (thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that), and the Boulevard on tap made me a happy drinker for the evening. If I return any time soon, however, I’ll be stopping by the Barnes and Noble on the way home to make use of their facilities. I refuse to re-enter the bathroom at Paddy O’Quigley’s until a trustworthy source has assured me that the stall mirrors have been removed.