A brand-new bar has opened in the newly formed entertainment district in historic downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
Hand in Glove serves delicious coffee drinks during the day and quality cocktails late into the night. The long-awaited bar is located in the new Strother District, which includes the locally owned bars, restaurant and businesses that make downtown Lee’s Summit unique. It is based on the town of Strother, which once sat on the original 11-block plat that would eventually become the historic downtown heart of Lee’s Summit.
Hand in Glove owners Shane and Merideth Veritasi – who also own The W, the stylish speakeasy bar upstairs – decided to make this a passion project, spending the time and money to make it into exactly what they wanted: a place to escape and get a drink, day or night.
However, the historic building needed some fortifying of its own, and that work had to be done before the white marble could be imported from Turkey for the countertop and floors, the sleek Italian La Marzocco espresso machine could be placed on the counter in front of vibrant red bar stools or the gorgeous designer light fixture could be hung from the ceiling. But once inside the front door of this dazzling space, it's easy to see – this drinking emporium was worth the wait.
The red and white color palette starts at the bar, with its hints of brassy gold, then carries through the space to a small seating area with red cushions on white marble known as the snug. The space can hold up to 10 people and can be reserved for private parties. The whole bar has the feel of an upscale Turkish coffee shop or Moroccan restaurant, but that atmosphere is most evident in the snug.
Managing this exciting new space is a group of top-notch talent including Levi Roye, who has come on board to serve as the resident coffee connoisseur and coffee director, having worked at PT’s and Post Coffee Co. Roye also knows his way around a bar, having worked at both The W and The Campground as a bartender. Taylor Dumsky, the beverage director for The W, works in collaboration with Roye and the rest of the team at Hand in Glove to create the rotating cocktail menu, but says she leaves all of the creative coffee magic to Royce.
The real difference between the two bars is the coffee being served downstairs at Hand in Glove and the over-the-top creativity that can be found in the drinks being served upstairs at The W. “At Hand and Glove, we are not trying to reinvent the wheel; we want to introduce people to the basics and benefits of drinking a quality craft cocktail. Although our drinks are designed to be balanced, made with quality spirits, they are quicker to the table,” explains Dumsky. “Then upstairs at The W bar, we are allowed to be as creative as we want to be, take our time and show off some cool techniques and inventive flavor profiles. We get to push the cocktail boundaries more at The W. We think the people who love Hand in Glove will enjoy The W and visa versa.”
The coffee menu at Hand in Glove offers classic coffee drinks in addition to nitro espresso and draft lattes using local Post Coffee Co. The drip coffee is sourced locally and will rotate between Monarch and Blip Roasters. Guests can also add a flavor boost to their favorite coffee drink with any of the housemade syrups available in seasonal flavors like gingerbread and spiced pear, and oat milk is available for those needing a dairy alternative.
At some point, coffee cups turn to cocktail glasses as happy hour approaches and the red bar stools start to fill with those wanting to socialize. The selection of cocktails available at Hand in Glove will change regularly, featuring accessible drinks that are designed to hit your table quickly.
To that end, Hand in Glove offers a large selection of cocktails on tap, including a Steali Deali (a play on the pineapple-infused vodka Martini). The Negronish is a delicious take on the classic Italian cocktail, while other options include an Espresso Martini, Old Fashioned, seasonal sangria and the Smoked Vanilla with Four Roses, which features burnt sugar, house bitters and a bit of smoke.
Ten cocktails are listed under the "Poured, Stirred and Shook" section of the cocktail menu, which play on bitter and sweet in the same way coffee does. In fact, many cocktails incorporate coffee, like the deeply complex Lasalle Esq. featuring coffee-infused Laird’s Applejack, Lustau brandy, orange cordial, honey-apple syrup and lemon juice. A small selection of beers and wine on tap round out the drink offerings, and a food menu is in the works.
“We have a kitchen and plans to do some food at some point,” Dumsky says. “Mostly, we are thinking about adding baked goods to go with our coffee – quiche, croissants, cookies and maybe even dessert.”
Hand in Glove is open Monday through Thursday from 7am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday from 7am to 1am and Sunday from 9am to 6pm.
Hand in Glove, 6 SW Third St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri, facebook.com/thefreebar