Hot Food, Cool Design

brgr

Stylish Urban

The American burger restaurant is as common as apple pie or 4th of July fireworks. So, how do you transform a well-known concept and create a way to make it stand out from the herd?

Enter BRGR Kitchen + Bar, a progressive restaurant concept that proves to even the snobbiest foodies that the burger can be a sophisticated meal. Offering unique sandwiches such as the “Steakhouse Burger” with watercress & steak sauce to the “Fast Cow,” a burger that’s espresso-encrusted. (We see what they did there.)

The restaurant’s interior design focuses on modern style with geometric décor and a mix of wood and brushed metallic finishes. The atmosphere is hip and cool, and the bathroom facilities are no exception.

 

Breaking Down Barriers

 

The restrooms have an open view with both men and women sharing the same sinks. Before the four individual bathrooms is a bank of three sinks that are designed with a rustic farmhouse vibe. It’s distinctive from the modern front of house but complements it nonetheless.

brgr bath

The walls of each bathroom are floor to ceiling and there are full-length doors on each restroom with a deadbolt lock.

Each restroom has its own name. The women’s are Flo and Vera while the men’s are a bit more obvious…Jon and Lou.

“Alan Gaylin (CEO & founder), our architect and I went around the country to find ideas and this open concept restrooms was very common in large cities,” said Tara Van Loenen, VP of Marketing & Branding for Bread & Butter Concepts (the company that owns BRGR).

“We thought it was really a neat idea, because a person gets the privacy of their own room for using the facilities, but we save space by using a communal sink.”

 

brgr flo

 

Gaylin, as a restaurateur, appreciates great architecture and design. BRGR took a risk introducing an uncommon restroom design but their customers have embraced them and appreciate the new, modern approach to the food, service and environment.

Check out the unique restrooms at BRGR + Kitchen and Bar at the Power & Light District, and grab yourself a burger or a handcrafted cocktail. (We know you want to!)

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Morgan Miller Plumbing: Don't Get Left Out in the Cold: Winter Plumbing Tips

DIY Winter Plumbing Tips .jpg

After a long summer and keeping our shorts and shades on into October, we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of temperatures, and now it looks like we’re heading for cooler times. Winter in Kansas City is always cold, but the last few years have come with crazy events of ice, snow, and polar vortexes.

Since there’s no way to speed up time through winter, the best we can do is make the most of our winter by taking care of our families, ourselves and our homes. And one way to do that is by making sure our plumbing systems are protected from winters cold. If we don’t, we may wind up causing major damage to our property and putting our families in difficult situations.

So, what can we do to avoid the plumbing woes of winter? Here are a few tips

 

  1. Keep it under wraps. During the coldest temperatures, your uninsulated pipes are at their highest risk—especially the draftier areas like your garage or attic and outside areas, as well. When it gets below freezing, any water left in these pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack or burst. And that means trouble. Instead of just hoping for the best, take preventative measures by wrapping your pipes and outdoor plumbing fixtures in insulating material such as towels, foam or insulation sleeves from your local hardware store.
  2. Call it in. If you do see a leak in any of your pipes or fixtures, make sure you act immediately. A leak is no cosmetic issue, especially during the winter. If there is a leak, there is a good possibility your pipes are already damaged and may be ticking time bombs for bigger issues (we don’t even want to think about). Don’t wait for a “convenient time”; call in a plumber (us, of course) ASAP to avoid further damage
  3. Let it run. If you plan to be away from your home for any extended period of time, leave your faucets on at a very slow drip. It keeps a stream of water moving through the pipes and prevents them from turning into metal popsicles.
  4. Know the drill. If, despite your best efforts, you still experience a burst pipe this winter, you’ll want to know what to do immediately so that damage can be minimized. The most important first action step is to turn off the main water line to avoid a total flood. After that, call a plumber (us!) immediately, or if you’re not sure where the main shut off is located, call us the minute you know there is a problem. If you know the plumbing layout of your property you can try to identify the source of the leak and fix it yourself, but be sure to insulate the pipe when you replace it to avoid future issues.

At Morgan Miller Plumbing, we know that harsh winters give us enough to worry about without even thinking about our plumbing. That’s why even if you miss these tips and any warning sign along the way, you still don’t need to worry. With our 24-hour emergency plumbing service, you can call us anytime day or night and know that we’ll be available to rescue you in times of plumbing trouble. It’s what we’re here for! We love our customers and we’re proud to be the KC metro’s premier provider of residential and commercial plumbing services.

This season, take our advice and keep an eye on your pipes. Don’t let a little thing like an arctic blast cause a flood in your home. But know that even if it does, we’re only a phone call away.

KC Commodes: Faulkner Ranch

KC Commodes

You may not find Faulkner’s Ranch in a tourism brochure next to the Power and Light District or Crown Center, but years of history have polished this quaint piece of farmland into a hidden gem of Kansas City. A family business that began in the 1950’s by Bud and Mary Faulkner, started as an outpost for square dancing apparel and evolved to a western store featuring anything from saddlery to tack.

In 1986, Bob and Dick, two grandchildren of Bud and Mary, evolved Faulkner’s Saddlery to a successful equipment manufacturing venture that continues to ship internationally to this day.  Opportunity knocked again in 1988 when Bob was asked to run the Benjamin Ranch.

 

Ranch

 

Opportunity Knocks…

Faulkner Ranch continued to grow and in 1999, Bob suggested his daughter Christine to use her hospitality management degree at home and “make” a pumpkin farm. The job title of “pumpkin farmer” isn’t exactly glamorous. However, her family roots kicked in as well as her love of event production and entrepreneurship. And thus, the Faulkner Ranch was born 1999.

commodes Faulkner Ranch

The ranch is a private, event facility that produces turnkey events, giving all-inclusive services such as catering, entertainment, and setup/teardown. Events are hosted inside the climate controlled banquet barn and outside there’s a covered pavilion for additional seating as well as a stage for the live entertainment.

Pleasantly Surprised

Being out in more of a rustic barn ranch environment you might expect something akin to a camping trip, right? Wrong! Guests enter the facilities and welcomed by areas that are nice, clean, air conditioned, and heated….and so much more!

Historical Keepsakes

A lot of the décor in the ranch and bathrooms was brought from the historical Benjamin Ranch including reclaimed wood and light fixtures. In addition to the lovely men’s and women’s restrooms, there’s a family restroom in the pony party place in the next building over from the main facility. The Faulkner’s show their highly-valued opinion on family by placing changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms.

“My Mother took over the décor in the ladies’ room when we first built it and used a lot of her fashion cowboy boots hanging on the walls. And her, purses and accessories. I think she has a Roy Rogers purse hanging on the wall that’s very precious to her. So, we try to keep it light and feminine but western. The facility itself here we try to keep neutral so that you don’t have to have a western themed event if you don’t really want to,” said Loneman.

Party Time

The ranch hosts a variety of events from weddings, to corporate events, to children’s birthday parties. The idea behind it is so the person responsible for planning the event can show up and actually enjoy it instead of worrying about cooking or cleaning.

“We have what we call ranch specialties. There are activities throughout the ranch that are staffed and include all kinds of interactive activities for families to play together, such as pony rides, petting farm, zip line, fishing, corn cannon, moonwalks and more. In addition, there are outside activities called Ranch Recreation that are not staffed, but they’re fun interactive games that a guest would walk up and play on their own, such as, sand volleyball, hillbilly golf, horseshoes, washers and other games of that nature.”

The Faulkner family puts prides in their ranch and is so thrilled to offer a unique experience for the families that visit their ranch.

Learn more about the Faulkner Ranch history at http://www.faulknersranch.com/

 

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Morgan Miller Plumbing: Yikes Strange Drain Finds

Stange Drain Finds

Have you ever wondered what happens to little Goldy the goldfish after he was flushed down the drain? We like to think he eventually made his way to fishy heaven, but chances are Goldy ended up in the labyrinth of sewage tunnels in Kansas City….but stranger things have happened.

Here’s a list of five pretty strange things people have found in their drains:

  1. False Teeth: Many people with grandparents know about sterile liquid they drop their dentures in overnight for a good cleansing. False teeth are some of the most common clogs found by plumbers. Be sure to remind grandma and grandpa to lock their teeth in whenever they use the bathroom!
  2. Engagement Rings: A technician answered a house call to recover an engagement ring. A newly engaged woman accidentally dropped her engagement ring down the sink. The trusty plumber cut into the wall, ran a camera through the pipe, cut it and pulled out the bling with a pair of tweezers. Needless to say, her fiancée was happy to splurge on a house call to recover his $10,000 investment.
  3. Cell Phones: Smartphones have found their way down toilets. Everyone has passed the time on the john by surfing the web or playing Angry Birds. It’s no surprise that with these devices becoming smaller and sleeker, they sometimes slip out of our hands and into the pot on which we sit.
  4. Alligators: This is something you see more along the Coast. Some of these reptiles reportedly slithered their way up into the pipes of residential homes. Imagine the shock of the homeowner who made that house call!
  5. Toys: It’s well known that Toddlers are prone to give various toys and small objects the “flush test” to determine what swims and what sinks. Make sure you wrangle in  your little rascal before Malibu Barbie finds her way into a whirlpool.

Whatever weird object has created the stoppage in your sewer line, you can be sure to contact Morgan Miller Plumbing for all your plumbing needs!

 

Featured in PHC News

Morgan Miller Plumbing was recently featured in the October 2015 edition for PHC News for our recent successes in hiring some real all-stars and our adventures with social media.

Here’s a quick quote from the article:

“What Morgan Miller realized is that what works the most in their posting is what’s unconventional, authentic and fun, something that mirrors their small, tight-knit team. Meaning, a company doesn’t have to be selling to gain the exposure they need. Though they do have to be decent plumbers with knowledge and expertise, telling a very human story is what appeals to the masses, no matter the line of work, the team at Morgan Miller realized. Morgan Miller’s most popular posts are pictures, believe it or not. Dogs, humor, and interesting tidbits fare well with their target demographic.”

 

Click here to ready the full article.

And if you want to read the full edition of PCH news for the month, click here.

KC Commodes: Arvest Theatre at the Midland

Historic Rebel

Kansas City was born with a rebel spirit. The year is 1927. Picture the Mafia, a booming Jazz scene, World Series winning Monarch baseball, bootleggers at every corner, a national railroad hub, and extravagant live entertainment. In essence, Kansas City was the Crossroads of America (and it still is). At the center of this thriving year, the Midland Theater opened its doors for the first time – bringing a liveliness to KC that will live for generations.

Living in KC, we’re no strangers to the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. The diverse events that come through range from a Tech N9ne concert to a private charity casino night. Either way, in the last eight years, the Midland has gone from a defunct AMC Theaters venture to a resurrection of a historic Kansas City mainstay.

 

 

Bringin’ it Back

The Cordish Company, a real estate and entertainment operating venture, was looking to bring exciting events and concerts back to downtown Kansas City. In 2007 they developed this vision with the famous Kansas City Power and Light district filling it with unique shopping, delicious dining, and entertainment. Now, weekend experiences include viewings at Alamo Drafthouse and concerts at the KC Live! Block. Cordish continued to revitalize Kansas City’s arts and entertainment scene by forming a partnership with AEG Live and investing $16 million into the historic Midland theater.

 

 

Decades Later…

As a registered historic building, Cordish was inspired to update the 21st century standard while maintaining the spirit of Kansas City. Larry Hovick, General Manager of the Midland, loves all the well-preserved details of the building. “Some obvious aspects were preserved such as the exterior façade of the building and the color scheme of the interior,” Hovick said. As you enter the theater, there’s vintage warmth and the building exudes both the regality of early 20th century entertainment and the freshness of a venue visited by the most groundbreaking acts.

Restrooms with a Past

“The bathrooms built in the Roaring Era are primarily intact,” Hovick said. “They were given the modern treatment of renewed plumbing and more than a handful of dollars went to making the facilities ADA compliant.” Upon entering the restroom, your eyes immediately go to the striking terrazzo floors. Terrazzo tile is often used as a flooring option and small cracks run through the tile almost like the veins of a weathered body….showing the life of the theater.

 

The Powder Room

Another characteristic of these colorful commodes is the interior design. You are brought back to the original times of the building as you realize you’re standing in a smoking room. Before smoking was deemed bad for you, women would sit in smoking rooms that acted as a corridor to the actual bathroom. It also houses the modern wonder known as a “telephone booth.” Even though smoking and secret phone booth conversations have slowly been replaced with quick phone checks and selfies, this unique addition is a rarity in public restrooms – adding a robust historic experience to your night of entertainment.

 

The Down Low

KC’s rebel roots go deep. As in underground, in the dark deep. Perhaps the worst or best-kept secret (depending on who you ask), is the Midland’s basement affectionately called the “Titanic”. Located behind and below backstage you will find a corridor; this secret hide-away has been a part of interesting experiences and stories from performers over the years. It also has an underground tunnel system that is now, sadly, out of commission. During prohibition, performers would use these secret tunnels to make their get-a-ways during raids. You make us proud, KC forefathers! The Midland’s long and eventful, rebel history continues to give life to a building that will entertain Kansas Citians for years to come. Check out these wise old bathrooms for yourself, and look out for upcoming events the Midland found on their website at www.midlandkc.com.

 

 

KC Commodes: Anton's Taproom

Antons

Sustainable Chic

Growing up with gardens in West Pennsylvania, self-preservation and sustainability were important values for this local KC business owner. Knowing how to grow, cure, age and pickle were tools of the trade. Anton Kotar, owner of Anton’s Taproom, believes that the tides are changing in our eating habits, and the first step of moving with the tide is by creating the best atmosphere. And for Anton’s….it starts with the bathroom.

Antons

“When it came time for those bathrooms, it was important that they fall in with what we have going here,” said Kotar.

Located in the Crossroads neighborhood, Anton’s Taproom is paving the way for restaurants in the 21st century. Their vision behind the success is not only setting the highest standards for customer service and culinary taste, but also creating a sustainable operation. Every employee, with goals of both high profit and high satisfaction, practices it in the restaurant.

Housed in a century old building, the space both emulates rustic and urban vibes. We often think of older buildings as drafty and cold, however, the restaurant runs it’s heat by a system of water pipes warming the floors with water reused and recycled by the restaurant itself. Heating and reusing its own water helps save both Anton’s water and gas bill, mitigating monthly operational costs.

Head down the stairs to the restrooms and you’ll see why we rave about this plumbing masterpiece.

As you descend the bright red stairs you start catching wafts of basil and other fresh garden herbs, along with aromas of cured, aging meats behind glass. It’s all part of an aquaponic system that reuses water and waste in a way that requires simple upkeep.

anton plant

Underneath the jungle of herbs, Tilapia can be seen swimming around in their own aquarium. They are a vital part to the ecosystem; much of their waste is what gives the herbs their nutrients to grow fast and lush.

The water goes through a deionization process removing all impurities and leaving crystal clear water. A water feature running through a gutter to downspout collects all water that the restaurant uses. It then runs to a sump pump, allowing it to be purified and reused again. Kept in a series of insulated water tanks, the system operates on a heat exchanger with a retrograde gas line and resupplies the building with a steady flow of heated water by compressors.

Both men’s and women’s restrooms are built of brick and stainless steel walls, utilizing reclaimed vintage doors as sturdy stalls with a distinct rustic feel. The sink is a three-tub steel piece located outside both restrooms, with the intention to keep everyone honest about washing their hands.

It’s easy to do the “normal” way, but Anton’s Taproom gets KC to start thinking about our natural resources and how we consume them. We have dubbed Anton’s as “Sustainable Chic,” because they show us how creating a better atmosphere in small ways makes an incredible impact. It’s the unique values that give KC its’ foundation of being the best city in America!

Check out more about Anton’s Taproom at antonskc.com or go exploring yourself!

KC Commodes: Commodes that Mean Business

Kansas City is the IT town. We’ve got it all: A-List sports teams, America’s best BBQ, booming local business, robust history and architecture, a vibrant arts and music scene, and food that is making National Top 25 Lists – the buzz about this great city is not going anywhere. We’re a city of great things, but here at Morgan Miller Plumbing, we know that we’re also a city of great bathrooms!

We are taking a closer look at the places we go. Bathrooms are shared experiences among all of us and a decent place to go is always an important factor in our daily comforts. Which is why we want to show you the best places to go in KC. From fancy tiled walls to geometrics sinks, we’re checking out the bones of the city from behind the scenes (literally) in our “Stalling Out – KC Commodes that mean business” blog.

Stay tuned for our first KC Commode: Anton’s Taproom!