It’s not difficult to find classic bar fare in Wichita. What is difficult to find is a place that serves that classic bar fare in an environment that’s anything but standard.
Harry’s Uptown Bar and Grill, just west of Hillside on Douglas, is an often-forgotten gem. It has a familiar bar menu that’s made all the better by the vibe inside and out.
On a recent sweltering night, I bypassed the otherwise inviting patio at Harry’s for a cooler seat by a window inside. The air conditioner blasted almost frigid air, and the drinks were equally cold. The only thing watering down the drinks was the ice, as they were made stiff and were perfect for taking the edge off a long day.
The bar was especially packed as the friendly bartenders were just chatty enough. Our waitress was welcoming, knowledgeable about the menu and patient as we took our sweet time making our selections.
A nice mix of 1970s rock boomed in the background as we ordered the Memphis burger and the spicy chicken club sandwich. The burger may be the biggest served in the area, featuring a half-pound of certified Angus beef smothered in a smoky sauce. It came with a generous pile of onion rings that were more breading than onion but still pretty good. My date managed to finish the whole thing — somehow.
My chicken club sandwich was equally impressive size-wise. I liked that the chicken was pounded flat, helping it to fit nicely inside the bun, rather than the whole breast that most restaurants serve. The spicy mayo highlighted on the menu was just a side of mayo with a sprinkle of seasoning dusted across the top. But plenty of lettuce and tomato, as well as a juicy dill pickle, rounded out the plate. Our entrees, like most, ranged from $8 to $10.
If you haven’t had Harry’s steak fries, those are a treat, and I took full advantage of the basket in front of me.
If you’re looking for a new watering hole that’s close to home but just as cool as any spot downtown, save yourself the five-minute drive and check out Harry’s.