Boulevard Brewing Co. just upped its game, opening up a brand-new “Rec Deck” on the fourth floor of its Tours & Recreational Center late last month.
Open weekends only for those 21 and above, the new game stop features five regulation 40-foot indoor shuffleboard courts available to rent by the hour, a couple of shuffleboard tables and a handful of card and dice games that people can play while enjoying Boulevard canned beer or Fling Craft Cocktails.
A new shareable food menu was created specifically for the fourth floor by chef Josh Eans of Happy Gillis and Columbus Park Ramen Shop. Eans also owns What a Treat Restaurant Consulting in collaboration with a team from Boulevard including brand ambassador Kyle Hopkins (who created the original Beer Hall menu available on the second floor) and Amber Ayres, Boulevard's director of tours and recreation.
“We have our Beer Hall on the second floor, where guests can sample a variety of Boulevard’s current, seasonal and experimental beer selections, so we decided the fourth floor should be a place where guests could come and play games and have fun,” says Ayres. “Shuffleboard was picked because it is a game where you play as competitively as you want, and one that can easily be played with a can of beer in your hand.”
Boulevard canned beer and cocktails will be the only beverages served on the fourth floor in order to encourage game play, as well as for ease of mobility and cleanup for the team.
Guests check in on the fourth floor and rent a shuffleboard court by the hour. The game can be played as singles or doubles. Once you rent your court, grab your biscuits or playing pucks and a Boulevard associate will teach you the rules of the game. This person can also handle follow-up questions or disputes concerning game play.
Boulevard is also currently forming shuffleboard teams, with league nights on Mondays. “We want the teams to come ready to play and have fun. We are looking for funny team names and will host theme nights for the league members,” says Ayres. “We are going to have fun with it, and we want them to have fun with it.” Those interested in signing up should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When it came time to develop a new food menu to go with the game play and canned beers and cocktails on the fourth floor Rec Deck, the Boulevard team turned to Eans. The chef says the menu highlights shareable dishes that are easy to execute, including flatbreads.
The KC AF Flatbread, for instance, is one that Eans and Hopkins believe represents Kansas City It starts with a focaccia crust made by Farm to Market Bread Co. using Boulevard Wheat beer, which is topped with Rufus Teague Can-O-Que barbecue sauce instead of a traditional tomato sauce. The flatbread is then topped with cheese, roasted red onions, Jack Stack Barbecue burnt ends and a sprinkling of finely chopped Kansas City Canning Co. hoppy pickles. The rectangular pizza evokes a Long Island-style Grandma Pie; the crust is soft in the middle yet hardy and stands up to this Kansas City-style barbecue flavor bomb.
The menu also features vegetarian options including a generous portion of creamy white bean hummus loaded with lemon and herbs, served with fresh vegetables and Farm to Market focaccia brushed with garlic oil. The warm pimento cheese dip with soft salted pretzel twists is another deliciously decadent treat that calls out for an ice cold beer.
For those looking to feed a crowd, the Big Board is the way to go. This sheet tray charcuterie board is generously filled with slices of Spanish chorizo, piles of Burgers Smokehouse Ozark Country Ham, Jason Wiebe Cheddar cheese, Kansas City Canning Co. hoppy pickles and rosemary-orange marmalade, Farm to Market crackers, oven-roasted seasonal vegetables, dried apricots and marinated olives along with a local ricotta cheese spread drizzled with olive oil and cracked black pepper.
“I love the way this charcuterie board turned out; so many great local food artisans are represented on it,” says Eans. “For me, this is something I would eat every day. It is sweet, salty and sour; the perfect party food.”
Eans says he and the team from Boulevard also plan to revamp the menu inside the Beer Hall on the second floor, once the Rec Deck has its feet operationally underneath it.
The views from the Beer Hall on the second floor, which boasts an outdoor deck, are amazing, but the new Rec Deck on the fourth floor also has full views of downtown and the Liberty Memorial. “We plan to rent out the Rec Deck to companies or for private parties Tuesday through Thursday because the views of the city from this floor at night are incredible,” says Ayres.
Boulevard Tours & Rec Center, 2534 Madison Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, 816.701.7247, boulevard.com