As cocktail enthusiasts, Ben and Josh Edwards were often searching for a place that carried unique spirits and quality bartending accessories to make their favorite craft cocktails at home – a place where they could also sample various spirits before investing in a bottle.
When the brothers couldn’t find that place, they decided to open their own combination bartending supply shop and bar.
Mitch e Amaro quietly opened earlier this month in the former Le Monde Bakery space located on Armor Road in North Kansas City. Ben is a self-proclaimed software nerd and serial entrepreneur while Josh is a career bartender in Kansas City.
The name refers to Mitch, their rescued pit bull, with the “e” in Italian translating to “and.” Amaro, of course, refers to the bracing bittersweet herbaceous liqueur popular with many craft cocktail bartenders.
“We want to be the go-to location where professional bartenders and cocktail nerds get hard-to-find products, and where novices go to expand their horizons,” says Ben.
Their hybrid specialty liquor store and bar is unique in what it does carry and what it does not. You won’t find flavored vodka or well liquors by the handle here. You will, however, find a curated selection of hard-to-find quality spirits, tonics, bitters, books, glassware and bar equipment, and you have the opportunity to sample any of it at the cocktail bar located inside of their retail space.
Boasting the largest selection of amaro for sale in Kansas City, their shop also carries a fine selection of Italian aperitivos and French apéritifs, American and Japanese whiskey, rye and bourbon, vermouth, mezcal, gin and vodka. Mitch e Amaro specializes in those bottles you would usually have to special order from your local liquor store.
Mitch e Amaro provides a place where shoppers can speak to someone in person, get recommendations, feel the weight of a cocktail shaker in your hand or sample a spirit before you buy it. Drinking cocktails is a social business, and Ben and Josh believe that buying the stuff to make them should be, too.
“Josh is the day-to-day person you will find working the shop and shaking up cocktails behind the bar at Mitch e Amaro. As a career bartender and cocktail enthusiast, he has worked in big nightclubs, small pubs, large private events and corporate restaurants, and like me, he loves to talk shop about cocktails,” says Ben.
The bar located inside of Mitch e Amaro is the social hub of the shop, where Josh is happy to sample a particular spirit or make you a classic craft cocktail so you can see what a particular brand of whiskey, for example, tastes like in a cocktail.
“We've kept our drink menu at the bar very simple, letting the ingredients speak for themselves,” Ben says. “We make and sell drinks made from only the items we carry in our store. We want people to go to great craft cocktail bars, like Swordfish Tom’s, one of our favorites, and get inspired, then we want them to come to Mitch e Amaro to get the supplies they need to make that drink at home.”
Currently, Mitch e Amaro is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm and Friday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm.
Mitch e Amaro, 306 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri, 816.214.8209, mitcheamaro.com