Hearne: Quinton’s Arrives in Waldo Bearing MU-KU Olive Branch

Think of it as the local equivalent of peace breaking out in the Middle East…

Quinton’s Bar & Deli,  one of the most popular KU and MU college haunts has splashed down in the wilds of Waldo. That after 20 years of existance as a Lawrence legend specializing in – wait for it –  "bread bowls and bomb ass waitresses."

The joint’s practically infamous for having a staff of 60 to 70 college grrrl hotties who party there when they’re off duty. Making it something of a dude magnet and actually difficult to get in at times..

But Quinton’s also been going strong for about 15 years in MU Tiger Country. Complete with a dance club and kickass rooftop patio.

Now its upscale game is afoot in Waldo in the former home of Hannibal’s Waldo Bar.

"Doesn’t this look nice?" says landlord Joe Zwillenberg. "You know what I say, it’s the Cigar Box south without Al Latta. The food’s really good. And there are seven Quinton’s now but Lawrence is the original."

Speaking of Jayhawks, Zwillenberg is a card carrying board member of the Tiger Club of Kansas City.  Meaning he’d just as soon as run one over in his Porsche as honk at it. That said, he’s got no compunction whatsoever about co-owning a bar and deli with roots in KU Basketball Land.

In other words, when it comes to catering to area college football and basketball fans, Zwillo goes both ways.

"If you can’t beat ’em, get ’em to spend money at your place," he quips. "Besides, a lot of my friends are big KU alums and there’s a Quinton’s in Columbia, so we welcome everybody."

What’s more, there are enough TVs to handle all three area college team’s at the same time. That’s KU, MU and K-State, if you’re counting. Heck, enough even to dial in UMKC and Rockhurst. I digress…

And if you haven’t been to the Waldo Bar since Hannibal left the building, you’re in for an eye popping.

"We repainted everything and made all the booths look new," Zwillenberg says. "And we have marble tables everywhere and put in a new tile floor. We’re looking at being an upscale Peanut slash Cigar Bar where people can hang out and have a good time."

Quinton’s Waldo features DJs Friday and Saturday nights along with a its secret weapon…

"We have brought over the best bartender in the city, Kelly," Zwillenberg says. "I’m not going to say her last name, but she was a bartender in a Raytown bar for 10 years called Cuzzins. She’s the most energetic, bubbily bartender I’ve ever had working for me, and she has a huge following."

One last detail: a close second to Quinton’s bread bowls are its sandwiches, Zwillenberg says.

"All of ’em are great and they have eight ounces of meat – that’s a half pound of meat on each one."

As for battling it out with fellow MU dawgs Andy and Chris Lewellen – across the street at Lew’s and The Well – "I think we’re a good compliment to their businesses," Zwillenberg says. "We’re open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. And they close at 1 a.m., so from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. we’re busy."

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14 Responses to Hearne: Quinton’s Arrives in Waldo Bearing MU-KU Olive Branch

  1. harley says:

    Great place
    was over there several weeks ago and figured glaze would be hounding the young female staff. but to my dismay he was
    nowhere to be found. Great…great food and some of the nicest hotties in kc. Try their sandwiches…they’re grrrreeeeaaaatttttt!

  2. smartman says:

    1 Year Max
    At least they’ll be able to say they gave it the old college’s try. With all the better established joints in Waldo it’s gonna be tough for Q’s to succeed.

  3. Robertoe says:

    wager, smartman?
    Good competition in the vicinity is beneficial.

    I’m in the fuel business. At a truckstop, when a Pilot or a Loves goes in at your interchange your business usually improves. All the truckers want to stop or overnight where the action is.

    Down the street at the Gaf, they screwed up. That place used to be Romanellis. My dad was a part owner and the liquor license was in his name for 17 years. The OPKS successful O’Neills was going to lease the spot on the corner. There was some sort of right of first refusal option in the Gafs lease contract for surrounding properties. They incorrectly worried about O’Neills going in so they leased the space and have put in a couple of other themed places that havent worked. O’Neills would have helped their business. Now if all the action is elsewhere in Waldo. do you ever hear anyone taling about the Gaf? No, They also screwed up by not retaining the horseshoe bar and the old neighborhood bar ambiance. The Gaf is the spot thats not long for this world. Bring back Romaneillis!

    Good food and hotties are a good combo. Plus, lots of profitability from other Quinton spots that are working. win win win.

    I’m also betting we’ll see a Quinton’s ad go up here at KCC soon.

  4. smartman says:

    Sure $100.00 that by Jan 1 2013 or before they either close-rebrand or reconcept.

    Their weekend business is good but they are losing the battle during the week for lunch and dinner to Lew’s, The Well, Tanner’s, Kennedy’s, 75th St, Waldo Pizza, blah-blah-blah.

    What the area really needs is an upscale 24hr diner, one of those Jersey Turnpike stainless steel and glass neon art deco jobs, or even a Denny’s or an IHOP…..but NO WHITE TRASH MAGNET WAFFLE HOUSE!

  5. Robertoe says:

    you’re on
    You’re on on the wager and you’re spot on with the current Waldo drunken diner need. I’d sure like to see a unique non-national chain with some true Route 66-type ambiance. Shit, how about roller skating car hop babes? That Romanellis spot would work

    In fact, drunks like Chuck and I need even 1 thing more than greasy diner food:


    You know sometimes newer isn’t better!

  6. Robertoe says:

    Get the food at our new diner
    “they are losing the battle during the week for lunch and dinner.”

    They money is not made on food. The money -and big tips, hence the good babe employees- is made on the late night drinks. That place is low overhead. They don’t need the businessman lunches. That’s not the demographic they’re after.

  7. chuck says:

    They should never have remodeled the place
    3 or 4 years ago.

    It was full of the weirdest fuckin people and so nasty and dirty you had to shower when you drove past the place.

    It took generations of loser daytime drunks (Who the fuck YOU lookin at?) to get the ambiance just right, then they fuck it all up. Oh well.

    Love that picture Robertoe, very fuckin cool.

  8. chuck says:

    Nick Wright and his friends are all over
    TKC with a relentless spam attack.

    You would think fire fighters had nothing to do.

  9. Waldoman says:

    Lew’s is open till 3am! and The Well is open till 1:30am.
    The hours regarding Lew’s and The Well were incorrect in the above article. Lew’s Grill & Bar is open 11am to 3am 7 days a week. The Well is open 11am to 1:30am M-Saturday and 10am to Midnight on Sunday.

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    There were no hours for Lew’s, it’s always been 3 am. He was referring to The Well, directly across the street. The foot traffic to the Waldo Bar has always come from The Well, when they start scooting people out around 1 a.m.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    One can only hope

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    I remember Sean at the Grill on Broadway explaining to me years ago that the lunch biz was a loss leader to help make things happen at night. I know there are places that thrive on breakfast and lunch, but I agree; the nighttime is the right time.

  13. PB says:

    Sad to me
    as well, chuck, that truly depressing, smoke-filled dive bars (not these new hipster versions) are fast becoming a thing of the past. Just because you don’t bathe daily and drink PBR from a can, does not a barfly make.

  14. Cliffy says:

    You were right, Robertoe. The Quinton’s ad is up. But like all the others, it’s never up long enough to actually read it.

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