As a bar, Mike's is great. The place has brought the good vibe to Troost since 1964, and its owner for the past decade, Mike Devine, held it down well. Until all those bands from God-knows-where started showing up.
OK, not all of the bands that played there sucked, but there's a difference between a music venue and a bar with bands. A venue serves the bigger scene around it. A bar that books crap music serves no one.
"I'll take nothing over a shitty band," says Kurt Wirkin, Mike's brand-new general manager.
Wirkin's family bought the bar at the beginning of June and put the self-described "black sheep" in charge. You may know Wirkin from his six and a half years at Mike's or his time behind the taps at Harling's. The cool 28-year-old Rockhurst philosophy major doesn't want his bar to be lame.
I dropped by Mike's and hung out with Wirkin and his longtime friend and new employee, Derek "D-Rock" Eichelberger, whoo co-founded Hip-Hop & Hot Wings at the Peanut downtown.
Wirkin knows his bars but is largely a stranger to the local scene. All he has right now are heaps of good intentions. But mostly, he has a business that he wants to succeed.
And even if, God forbid, the place ends up going down the tubes, at least it won't sink while a shitty band's playing. Wanna Like Mike¹s New ownership brings hope for sound entertainment at the famous Troost tavern.