By Kevin Collison
If there’s one thing Christian Overgaard would like to see happen when people visit his new place, Afterword Tavern & Shelves, its having their curiosity awakened.
“We keep coming back to a theme of discovery,” he said. “A place where someone walks in and by the time they leave, maybe they know something they didn’t know before.”
It that sounds like a 21st Century version of an old French salon, you may be right.
Walking into the 1,200 square-foot bookstore, tavern and cafe at 19th and Grand is a mindful awakening, from the bar custom-built in North Carolina to the old library card catalog cabinet salvaged from a KCK school and table tops decorated by local artists.
Overgaard said Afterword, which is now open at 1834 Grand, is a place to celebrate Kansas City and its region. It will feature local craft beer, wine and spirits, regional authors and locally produced food.
“There are so many good things happening around Kansas City that people aren’t aware of and we want to bring the out,” he said.
The only concession to his suburban Chicago roots will be Old Style beer.
“I have fond memories of it at Cubs games in Chicago,” Overgaard said.
The bookstore will be a blend of staff picks, local authors and a custom category featuring books with 200 pages or less for fun, quick reads.
“When I travel anywhere, I like to check out bookstores and browse staff picks,” he said.
The cafe will feature salads, sandwiches, charcuterie boards featuring local cheeses and butchers, and small plates.
“We want to encourage conversation,” Overgaard said.
While Afterword is the first combination bookstore, bar and cafe in the Crossroads, Overgaard jokes he’s a bit envious his place didn’t get the first word. Our Daily Nada, a similar concept, opened last month in the River Market.
The old building itself traces its roots back to the early 1900s when it opened as a drugstore. Over the years, its uses evolved and most recently it was covered in stucco and used as a warehouse for Bob Jones Shoes across the street.
Afterword Tavern is currently in its “soft-opening” phase. A grand opening is expected in mid- to late October.
Hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sundays 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
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