First Fridays in the West bottoms

IMG_7261Looking over the Kansas City skyline, most can point out the Union Station, the World War Two memorial or the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. However, if you search hard enough, you can find the heart of KC in the West bottoms. Old wear houses and factories harbor antiques and creations of local artists.

The first weekend of every month the Crossroads as well as the West Bottoms fill up from people from around the metro area. The charming stores in the West Bottoms somehow are perfectly juxtaposed with The Beast and The Edge of Hell (which happen to be located in the same few blocks as the other stores).

 

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Around 30 stores have moved into the West Bottoms area since it became popular. Stores like Hello Sailor, Nook and Cranny, Restoration Emporium, Stuffology, Top Hat Mercantile and Good Ju Ju have grown and expand over multiple levels of their respective buildings.

Nancy Chambers, owner of Rag & Bone and original partner to the first store in the West Bottoms, Good Ju Ju, has been a part of the affair since it started seven years ago. She explained her favorite part about First Fridays.

“I like going out looking for the merchandise and getting it all ready.” Chambers also is a vendor in Top Hat Mercantile.

Chambers wants and encourages young people to visit and come down to the West Bottoms.

 

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Top Hat Mercantile

Kellie Hoff, a vendor at Restoration Emporium has only been apart of First Fridays since June.

“I just like all the creativity and seeing what other people do, you kinda feed off of each other. It’s just fun.”

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Elevator in Restoration Emporium

Restoration Emporium specializes in taking old pieces of furniture and repurposing them. The extends up three floors including housing a clothing boutique. One special aspect of RE is it’s elevator. RE has the largest operating elevator in Kansas and Missouri. The elevator holds up to 17500 pounds which comes in handy transporting large pieces of furniture up multiple levels.

 

Some of the most interesting things found in the West Bottoms are not always the big pieces. People’s abandoned family photos can be bought, old glasses, film reels, blue prints, medical cabinets, books, cameras. Endless items occupy every corner of every store, promising excitement with each and every find.

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Restoration Emporium

 Check out the West Bottoms that surround West 13th Street in Kansas City, MO the weekend of October first.