Dish & Drink KC: A summery new pop-up is set to take over miniBar for a month
Coming in June: Fancies Sodas and Cocktails will be taking over miniBar for a month
If you’ve dined out or gone out for cocktails in Kansas City in the past 10 years, you’ve probably enjoyed the work of Ryan Miller. He’s either worked at, managed, or has created drink menus for restaurants including Voltaire, Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, the Rieger, Extra Virgin, and Louie’s Wine Dive, among others. Now, he’s working on something entirely of his own creation: Fancies Sodas and Cocktails.
Fancies Sodas and Cocktails incorporates two concepts: Fancies handcrafted sodas, and a cocktail system/bar and beverage program called Fancies Sodas and Cocktails. Both of these elements were created by Miller, with early stages of development starting before the pandemic. Now, as the weirdest and worst year ever for restaurants and bars has eased somewhat, Miller is ready to debut Fancies in a prominent way with a month-long pop-up at miniBar that will begin June 18.
The idea for Fancies grew during the pandemic, during which Miller spent much of his time caring for his 2-year-old son.
“Being at home all day long and not really being able to go anywhere with my kid, I found out that there’s like no place to get fun drinks for both of us,” says Miller. “We like to go out and hang out and get special drinks. Wanting that mixed with my love of bars—I like the idea of marrying the neighborhood soda fountain and the neighborhood bar, and just blending it all into a nice community place. Adults can hang out like at miniBar or Chez Charlie’s, but have a fun, accessible experience that maybe more affluent people have.”
Miller is starting with giving miniBar a temporary makeover. He’s cleaning, painting, and redecorating the space with vintage elements that are designed to create the feel of that neighborhood soda fountain. But it’s not quite the saddle-shoe soda fountain you might be picturing—Miller’s version also has a bit of a 1970s vibe, down to the classic rock soundtrack, which will play through a set of analog speakers Miller built himself.
During the monthlong miniBar residency, Fancies customers will be able to order fizzy highballs made with Fancies sodas, including a gin and carrot tonic, whiskey with ginger soda, and an Americano made with chai-spiced soda, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Also available will be classic cocktails including a dirty martini, negroni, an old fashioned, and a margarita, as well as a few options for beer, and responsibly sourced wine. Fancies will offer food, too. Miller jokes that with having a kid around, he’s become a hot dog expert, and Fancies will offer a classic dog from Fritz’s, as well as bourbon butter popcorn, a recipe he developed while at Louie’s Wine Dive. Miller is also working with chef Sam Hall (Verbena, formerly of the Rieger), who has developed a handful of other quick-cook snacks like a pimiento grilled cheese, toast with roasted vegetables, garlic, and herbs, as well as pickles. Both drinks and snacks will run between $8-12 apiece.
Beyond the upcoming miniBar residency, Miller hopes to further develop Fancies into a concept that he can open in a variety of different neighborhoods. After all, he says, “every neighborhood deserves to have a good place to get a drink.”
Follow Fancies on Instagram to get updates about the miniBar pop-up.
Have a tip? Email us!