Even though I'm not a fan of winter, one thing that I love is the early signs of spring when people are out enjoying 40 degree weather like its summer and there is a certain buzz that has been missing for several months.
Friday, to me, marked the first day of Spring...regardless of what calendar said.
So to enjoy the weather I took a short walk down to the Power & Light District for lunch. Apparently everyone had the same idea. People were buzzing through the Power & Light District, some obviously checking it out for the first time, some checking out the changes that had occured since the last time they walked through. Restaurants were buzzing. People spilled out the door at Famous Daves BBQ and Ted's Montana Grill. Chipotle had a line out the door. Not the front door by the register mind you. But a line all the way through the restaurant and out the back door.
People were sitting on patios munching on their BBQ and their burritos. The inside of the Bristol looked busy with people on business lunches.
If the first day of spring (for me) is any indication, the Power and Light District will do just fine. They will do quite nicely with lunch business from the downtown businesses. They will draw a lot of traffic on event nights. They'll do well from the convention traffic in the evenings.
Within the next two weeks nearly a dozen more restaurants are going to open -- including two that I'm looking forward to, Golden Beirch Brewery and Chef Burger. The Big 12 Tournament crowds will be funneling in and enjoying the area. They're going to be in for quite a treat. Nothing against the Golden Ox and Sutera (which both have great traditions and character for Kansas City), but this will be a way better environment for the Big 12 Tournament crowds.
My little prediction? I think the P&L District will be just fine off of the current traffic. I think having the clubing area near by will increase some demand for housing on the Southeastern Side of the loop -- so I can see more housing going up. I also have a feeling that by the time the stadium renovations are completed at Kauffman that people are going to be wondering why Jackson County didn't give more consideration to building the baseball stadium downtown. Tourists and locals alike will wonder when we can finally get to ride a direct route light rail line between this area, Westport and the Plaza.
It's going to be pretty fun. I know I'm going to enjoy it...and from the looks of the crowds on Friday, I don't think I'm going to be the only one.