Opening in 1929, Davey’s Uptown Rambler was Kansas City’s beloved dive bar and live music stronghold. Originally in the Congress building at 35th and Broadway, a nearby natural gas explosion in 1950 forced Davey’s move to 3402 Main, next door to Jimmy and Mary’s Steaks.
Hosting bands since 1987 and revered for its amazing sound, Davey’s was Kansas City’s longest running music venue. Music lovers of every variety heard country, bluegrass, metal, punk rock, techno and contemporary classical. It was home to local, regional and national acts, including up-and-comers thankful for their first gig. Everyone was heard at Davey’s.
Davey’s was also home to love at first sight, according to Michele Markowitz, daughter of founder and namesake Davey Markowitz. Her parents met at Davey’s. “Mom was a waitress at the steak house. Dad always told me it was love at first sight.”
In the 1990s, Davey’s expanded into the Jimmy and Mary’s space, adding a second stage, bar and dance floor. Davey’s also reconfigured the famous corner neon signs. LUMI is proud to include the “Park in Rear” neon sign from the expanded location.
Sadly, in March 2020, an electrical fire gutted much of Davey’s. The venue suffered severe damage, including the loss of classic pictures and hometown baseball memorabilia. Simultaneously, COVID-19 shut the city down, stalling any attempts to restore the beloved Davey’s.
Having worked with her dad at Davey’s since 1979, Markowitz says, “I always thought of myself as having the best job in the entire world… to listen to music and talk to wonderful people… it’s the people who made the music… they made the memories; we were just there facilitating it.”