Walking into Uncle D’s Sports Bar & Grill is like stepping into a sports-lover’s paradise.
NFL helmets hang from the ceiling, signed chiefs posters line the walls, and each of the 21 television screens scattered throughout the restaurant is tuned in to some sports event.
“We cater to any sport that’s on and anyone that wants to come in and watch it,” says DeWayne Leer, the owner of Uncle D’s. “You can watch every game that you want to watch here.”
When Leer retired from the post office at the age of 57, he believed it to be the perfect time to set plans for a sport-themed bar-and-grill in motion. His wife, and co-owner, was originally hesitant on the idea, Leer says, but after making plans and drawings, she was behind the project 100 percent.
It just needed a name.
“It’s kind of crazy. Before we opened and before we even bought the property, myself, my son and my nephews and some friends were just sitting around trying to come up with a name,” Leer says. “My nephew says, ‘I got it! Call it Uncle D’s.’ All of my nephews and my son’s friends call my Uncle D, and it just kind of stuck.”
It took a full year to find and purchase the property, and in 2004, Uncle D’s Sports Bar & Grill was established.
After starting with a heavy college crowd, the restaurant became more family-focused.
“We’re real proud of our food,” Leer says. “I guess you can call us a Mom-and-Pop operation. I really spent a lot of time finding what I wanted to serve. It took a year plus to find the steak that I wanted to serve.”
The bar and grill serves everything from appetizers like mozzarella sticks and potato boats to pastas, soups, salads and even desserts, with their sandwiches attracting a lot of the attention. In particular, The Hog, their 8 oz. pork tenderloin is one of their most popular sandwiches, though they also serve classic BLTs, cheeseburgers, patty melts and smoked brisket.
“I’ve even had people tell me, ‘We had no idea that you served that variety of food.’ It’s not just bar food. It’s entrees, pastas and sandwiches,” Leer says. “We strive to be a restaurant first.”
Uncle D’s also has around 13 beers on tap, including Boulevard and Sam Adams as well as domestic beers.
Owning a bar-and-grill centered on sports means that, most of the time, it’s all fun and games, with the business in the restaurant oftentimes being dependent on how well teams are doing. Leer says that this year, some days are slower than others considering the Kansas City Royals aren’t exactly having the best year.
“It is strange, and it does affect how much business we do. The Royals during the World Series was just awesome for us. When the Chiefs do well, we do well,” Leer says. “Sundays during the NFL are big for us. We have different fans sitting in different areas watching their favorite games.”
Chiefs Training Camp at Missouri Western also benefits business, he explains, as organizations like 610 Sports Radio do a live broadcast at the restaurant. And after 14 years, Leer couldn’t be happier with what he and his wife have accomplished at Uncle D’s, and hopes more families and sports-fans can come and join them for a meal.
“I worked hard to get this place running, and after 14 years, it’s still worth it,” he says.
Uncle D’s Sports Bar & Grill is located at 621 S. 36th St.