Chris Carle from Coach’s Bar & Grill
Time is on the side of Coach’s Bar and Grill in south Kansas City. Co-owners Chris Carle, Mike Darby and his son Brian Darby have owned and operated the successful sports bar for nearly three decades. “We must be doing something right to be open this long,” says Chris Carle with an easygoing laugh.
As Coach’s prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2012, plenty of reasons abound for its longevity. The three co-owners are “hands on” and well-known to the devoted regulars that frequent the bar and grill. “We offer great food and service consistently,” says Carle. “All of our food is homemade. We take great pride in our food.”
The creative cooks develop daily specials to complement dishes such as the popular pot roast, chicken salad, and roasted garlic peppered trout. Carle prepares the smoked brisket that requires twelve hours of smoking to achieve its tantalizing flavor. Formerly, she worked at Frondizi’s and learned tips about taste and presentation from Chef Linda Duerr by hanging around the kitchen. That knowledge and the dedication of Coach’s kitchen staff to prepare satisfying food is apparent when lunch and dinner plates come back clean. The kitchen and bar staff also cater events for small groups and large parties from boxed lunches to weddings.
Coach’s has become ingrained in its community over the years. Carle notes how several employees have been worked at Coach’s for years including a server that’s been with the team for twenty-five years. Faces are familiar, the service is reliable and the atmosphere is cordial. Families come often for dinner. Friends, sports fans and even fantasy leaguers flock here to watch games, keep score, tell jokes, laugh together and even lend a helping hand. Carle recalls how customers showed up with tool belts and offers to help when Coach’s has flooded five times over its history at the 103rd Street location. She says, “People care about us. And we care about them.
Good food, drink and camaraderie are solid reasons for the endurance of this establishment. Equally important, the bar’s dedication to sports definitely keeps customers coming back. Wide-screen televisions are mounted throughout the bar. Coach’s is high-tech and wired to the hilt with satellite dishes and programming so fans can watch nearly any aired sports event available. “If we can’t get it on our televisions, then you can’t get it. Period,” Carle says with a hint of braggadocio.
Coach’s attracts a variety of people day and night throughout the week. Whether the draw is sports, nightlife fun, a delicious meal with good value or the impulse to meet up with friends at a cozy hangout, Coach’s delivers on all counts. The proximity to 435-South, Wornall Road and 103rd Street makes the bar and grill an appealing destination for business people or anyone ready to eat, drink and relax.
In November 2011, the second location of Coach’s will complete its move from 149th and Metcalf to 135th and Antioch. This location will feature a rooftop deck.
Carle sums up her feelings about the business with warmth. “I like the connections and friends I’ve made over the years,” she says. “I work with my friends. My business partners and I have a great relationship.”
For the partners, employees and customers of Coach’s, that approach sounds like a winning formula for continued success.