End of prohibition and beginning of Stroud's - 80 years later - KCTV5

End of prohibition and beginning of Stroud's - 80 years later

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Kansas City celebrated two big anniversaries Thursday. One was a milestone in American culture with the end of the ban on alcohol, or prohibition, and the other was the start of one of the city's most enduring restaurants right at the same time.

Folks have been clinking glasses inside Stroud's Restaurant for 80 years now. Longtime owner Mike Donegan has seen it all in his time.

"Yogi Berra used to manage the Yankees as well as he was a ball player. Every time he was in town he used to bring his whole entourage, sometimes there would be four or five Hall of Famers sitting there eating," Donegan said.

But he said it's a different cast of characters that's made the place great.

"Grandkids of regular customers, great-grandkids come in. We've even got a couple situations where I've had a waitress who both her daughters work here," Donegan said.

What keeps many people coming back for all this time is the chicken that's pan fried the same way for generations.

"No changes, that's our secret," Donegan said.

There is one change the gang wanted to celebrate with a special toast at exactly 4:32 p.m. Thursday.

"Cheers everybody, happy birthday!" Donegan said to cheers from those around him, followed by the clinking of glasses.

At that specific time the group marked another 80 year anniversary - the repeal of prohibition. Stroud's opened right after prohibition ended and they've been serving cold ones ever since.

For a different kind of trip back in time, Manifesto in the downtown Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange recreates a speakeasy vibe of the prohibition era. The music swells, the drinks flow and, the moment a person steps inside, they are back in 1920s Kansas City.

"During prohibition is when we became known for jazz and drinking and revelry and all these things," said Ryan Maybee, Manifesto's co-owner and bartender.

Maybee wanted to celebrate the heritage in the Rieger's shadowy basement.

"We're really intrigued by the idea of prohibition and 80 years later we still have a lot to do to repair and undue the damage that was done during prohibition," he said.

Because Maybee says prohibition destroyed the art of bartending. His staff and others around the country are working to reverse that using fresh ingredients and quality spirits and they are taking it all back underground.

"I don't see it as being a trend, I see it as a resurrection of the art form of making great cocktails," he said.

They are two different spots using the basics to bring the best to Kansas City for the next 80 years.

Kansas was the first state to outlaw alcohol in its constitution in 1881. Missouri, meanwhile, played a big role in post-prohibition. Budweiser was the first to re-stock the market with beer.

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