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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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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!