A refurbished venue for live music in Blue Springs

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner

The Martini Shack is a throwback to the days of colorful Kansas City and Chicago speakeasies with food, wine, whiskey and craft beer, along with live music and intimate surroundings.

And father/son co-owners Paul and Brian Wildschuetz promise that the only thing missing from those great speakeasies of the 1930s are Al Capone and his gangster buddies.

The Martini Shack is at 9316 S. Missouri 7,  a block north of Colburn Road in Blue Springs.

Two of the owners of The Martini Shack, from left, Brian Wildschuetz and his father, Paul, share a laugh with bartender Julie Koprivica, at the renovated bar and restaurant that has a throwback feel to the speakeasies of a century ago.

"The coolest thing was when we were open for a while, and we were really packed, I didn't know anyone in here," said Brian Wildschuetz, who recently worked with his father at BlueScope Construction in Kansas City. "When we first opened, all our friends came in, and that was great. But now that word of mouth is getting around, we're really packed - and it's great to meet new people and make new friends – like one couple who come in for all our live music on Fridays and Saturdays."

And Paul is quick to interject, "So many places that have live music also allow smoking, which isn't for everyone. We have three rooms – our martini lounge area that you see when you first come in the front door – and it has a small stage for solo acts."

"Then we have our wine and whiskey room in the middle, and because the walls are concrete, you can be in one room and not hear the music from the other. Our wine and whiskey room is a gathering place where people can gather and eat and visit, if they don't want to listen to the music."

"And in the back, which is under construction right now, we have our garage bar. We can have a six-piece rock band on stage in the garage bar, people visiting and eating and drinking in the wine and whiskey room and folks in the our speakeasy, martini lounge, and all they can hear are the solo acoustic acts. It all works out great."

The Martini Shack in on South Missouri 7 in Blue Springs just north of Colbern Road.

While the menu is also under "construction," it includes appetizers, burgers, nachos, Philly chicken sandwiches and Paul's favorite, fried calamari.

Paul, who owns The Pub and Patio in Grain Valley, teamed with his son, Cary Hayward and Richard Mitchem, who all agreed that the time was right to buy, renovate and make some food and drink changes at The Martini Shack.

"I've had The Pub and Patio since September of 2020, and we bought The Martini Shack in November of 2020 – I know, I know, right in the middle of COVID," Paul said, grinning and shaking his head. "My partner Cary and the previous owner of The Martini Shack are friends, and he made us an offer we couldn't refuse/"

"Now, business is picking up, and I would say we're on the verge of being successful."

The Shack is open from 4 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. It features live karaoke Tuesday, trivia Wednesday, a disc jockey every other Friday, and a live band every other Friday and every Saturday.

"The live music makes us special," Brian said. "So many people will come up to us and thank us for bringing live music back here, and it makes you feel good."

Brian said that Adam Pearce, a contestant from "The Voice," will be featured Aug. 5 on the main stage.

"There are a lot of great things in the works," Brian added. "We're going to have comedy nights beginning with a comedy showcase with three or four comedians Aug. 1. Right now it's going to be on one Friday a month from 9 to 10:30 p.m., and we're excited about it."

Soon, the door opens and a couple walk in, greet Brian and Paul and order a drink and some food. The night is young, and it is just beginning.