One of my new favorite hangout spots in Lawrence, Kansas, is the brand new speakeasy John Brown’s Underground. It’s a small little spot right off Mass street that offers specialty cocktails as well as delicious food. The establishment is not marked by a sign. Instead, it shows off a black awning, sleek-looking door and red light that turns on when the bar is at capacity. I’ve enjoyed spending time at this Prohibition-era establishment during weekend afternoons with friends, weeknight evenings at book club and Friday date nights with the husband. I’ve even started going on Sunday mornings for brunch!
On Saturday and Sunday mornings (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), John Brown’s Underground now offers a great brunch deal: For $20 you can eat one of their main courses, a side item AND enjoy bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys. If you don’t want an alcoholic beverage (which, quite frankly, why wouldn’t you?) the price drops to $15 (or $12…I can’t remember).
I ordered their Mac Stack Sandwich, which is a Texas toast sandwich packed with an egg, fried mac-and-cheese bites, your choice of meat (I chose ham) and your choice of cheese (I chose Gouda). As a side dish I ordered a bowl of fruit and yogurt. Both me and my friend Liz were torn between the savory sandwiches and sweet breakfast dessert French Toast in a Jar. (Liz ended up ordering a different breakfast sandwich.) As a “compromise” we ordered one for the whole table in addition to our sandwiches. We’re basically geniuses.
If brunch isn’t your scene (in which case, what kind of person are you?), be sure to check out John Brown’s Underground for a night out with your friends anyway. They serve beer and wine as well as a menu’s worth of specialty cocktails. My favorite is the French 75, which is a blend of gin, cava, lemon and simple syrup.
For larger parties (for example, 15 book club members) call ahead to reserve one of their two back rooms. During the evenings they play silent black-and-white movies in the background, which truly adds to the 20s-era ambiance.
Have you ever been to John Brown’s Underground? What did you think of it?