The words ‘First Fridays’ brings joy to many Kansas Citians’ ears, namely for the art studios, wine, and good times they’re guaranteed to bring. However, the words “First Fridays in the West Bottoms” is an even more joyful tune to the ears of Kansas City antiquers… particularly my mom and I.
My mom introduced me to this monthly event last weekend and I am forever changed. The West Bottoms is the old warehouse district in Kansas City. Many of the warehouses are now vacant or occupied by questionable inhabitants (we stumbled upon quite a few of them). Some of them are being used as Haunted Houses (so, naturally, I avoid them like the plague). BUT some of them are treasure troves: warehouses packed to the brim with antiques, home goods, and crafts. Basically, food for the soul.
Vendors from around the area gather in the West Bottoms on the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the month. They set up booths in the warehouse buildings, most of them being 3-4 stories tall (FILLED with vendors!). It’s an amazing sight to see… such beautiful pieces amongst the torn, ragged, beaten warehouse buildings of old Kansas City.
Every corner we turned, there would be a new jewel of a building to uncover. Floor after floor filled with everything you could imagine. I’m a ‘furniture, kitchen goods, decorative pieces’ antiquer whereas my mom is a ‘doll, toy, trinket’ antiquer. The fact that we both walked away with bags full of things means First Fridays in the West Bottoms is sure please anyone.
I think we ended up going to six or seven warehouses before they closed. We were desperate for something to drink halfway through so we decided to stop at a place that guaranteed “Ice Cold Drinks!”. It turned out to be a coffee shop/tobacco shop/hookah bar/ hang out spot for abandoned warehouse occupants. We definitely stood out like a sore thumb in that place but the waters and iced caramel lattes were totally worth it.
I will always look back on last weekend as one of the best times my mom and I have ever had antiquing together. First Fridays in the West Bottoms was such a fun Kansas City adventure… it just might become a monthly ritual! Bring on the antiques!