What to Do in Joplin After 5 p.m.

Did you know that the population of Joplin swells to 250,000 during the day? Our city streets hum with cars carrying people from all over the region to their jobs, to our restaurants, and to our stores. Joplin is the hub of the Four States during the day, but what happens after 5 p.m.?

 

A lot.

 

There are happy hours, live music, comedy, open mics, karaoke, painting, and even a hookah lounge to tempt residents, visitors, and commuters to linger in Joplin long after the sun goes down.

 

Get Happy

 
Known for its happy hour and casual fine dining, Club 609 is the place where professionals flock to after work. A staple in downtown since 1990, Club 609 has established itself as an urban gathering place. Unwind with a Key Lime Martini (or two – during happy hour) and try the flavorful Chicken Bijan for dinner. 609 S. Main Street

 

609-martini

Key Lime Martinis at Club 609

 
Appreciate the art of the cocktail at Infuxn Vodka Bar. New concoctions are featured each week at this upscale lounge. With its ultra-cool, Vegas-like vibe, you’ll want to stay past happy hour, so order a few items from the small plates menu and you’ve got yourself dinner (dessert, too, if you’d like). My favorites here include the Last Summer cocktail and the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms. 530 S. Main Street

 

infuxn-lounge

Hear it Live

 

Sure, you can hear music anytime you want thanks to the magic of cell phones, but there’s something special about listening to it live. Here are some places in Joplin where you can do just that, plus venues where you can sing your own songs along with a karaoke machine.

 

Open Thursday through Saturday nights, JB’s Downtown offers live music every weekend. Check the calendar for karaoke and improv nights, too. Order the Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza to share with friends. 112 S. Main Street

 

siblings-ladies

Siblings Improv performs at JB’s Downtown

 

More live music can be heard downtown at Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. In addition to live music performances, there are comedy and trivia nights at this Irish pub. Grab a beer on tap, sit back, and be entertained. 510 S. Joplin Avenue

 

Me-Like-Bees-full-band-

Me Like Bees performs at Blackthorn

 

There’s nothing like listening to music while sitting outside on a patio on a warm summer night. Add some juicy burgers and beer on tap, and you’ve got the ultimate setup at Tropicana Bar & Grill. Try the Buddha Gouda burger here: it’s life-changing. 2402 S. Main Street

 

tropicana-day

Two stories of outdoor dining await you at Tropicana

 
tropicana-buddha

The Buddha Gouda at Tropicana

 
Where do you go when the live music has ended but you still want to have fun? Whiskey Dick’s, of course. The friendly, relaxed atmosphere here welcomes a mix of age groups, with everyone being united by one thing: karaoke. Whether you’re belting out your favorite songs next to your buddies on stage, or sitting in the audience and watching others channel their inner Beyonce or Jay Z, you’re bound to have a good time at this easygoing bar. 516 S. Joplin Avenue

 

Get Creative

 
Maybe you’ve had your share of live music and bars and are seeking a recreational outlet where you can express your creativity. Well, Joplin’s got something for you, too.

 

Gather a group of friends, or just your special someone, and go paint. You can even sip your favorite adult beverage while you color your canvas at RSVPaint. Bring your own refreshments or purchase some at the studio’s bar. Loosen up and let RSVPaint’s teachers guide you through the process. You’ll leave feeling relaxed and proud of your new artwork. Click here for RSVPaint’s schedule. 223 Third Street

 

rsvpaint-date-couple

 

Ladies, do you want a night out with your friends? Firehouse Pottery welcomes you every Tuesday night for Ladies’ Night. Here, you can choose a piece of pottery to decorate – a mug, plate, figurine – and add your own flair to it. You don’t have to be crafty to make something artistic here; the staff at Firehouse will demonstrate different painting techniques for you. 112 S. Main Street, Suite A

 

ladies-night-firehouse-amazement

 

Do Something Different

 
How about spending the evening at a hipster hangout? The back room at Joplin Avenue Coffee Company is a dedicated gathering place for open mic nights, poetry readings, and live music performances. Click here to see JACC’s upcoming schedule. 506 S. Joplin Avenue

 

coffee-bar

Bites & Pipes, Joplin’s only hookah lounge, offers a bit of everything: tasty American and Middle Eastern food (fried mac and cheese, falafel, kofta), alcoholic beverages, board games, a pool table, and hookahs. A hookah is a small water pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco. Bites & Pipes’ air filtration system is top notch, so even if you’re not a hookah smoker, you can still have fun hanging out with your friends – and making new ones – at this unique recreational spot. 110 N. Range Line Road

 

Now that you know what happens in Joplin after the sun goes down, stick around and be a part of it.

 

To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.

Infuxn Vodka Bar

Infuxn.

 

Let’s start with the pronunciation of this odd little word, specifically the latter half.

 

It does not rhyme with suction; it rhymes with fusion.

 

Now, put it all together and say in-fusion.

 

Not only is that what the name sounds like, it also describes what goes on at Joplin’s ultra hip vodka bar called Infuxn.

 

infuxn lounge

 

This upscale lounge with its sleek decor, VIP seating, frozen drink rail at the bar, and vodka bank in the rear makes me feel like I’ve have been transported from southwest Missouri directly to a club in Vegas.

 

infuxn bank 2

The vodka bank. Care to make a withdrawal?

 

In addition to its unique atmosphere, Infuxn sets itself apart from other local bars by focusing on the art of the cocktail. Many of the drinks here are actual infusions, which are defined in the dictionary as “drinks, remedies, or extracts prepared by soaking the leaves of a plant or herb in liquid.”

 

Yes, Infuxn has a remedy for whatever ails you.

 

The medicine man here is Daniel Valentine, the creative force behind Infuxn’s cocktail elixirs. He has crafted a menu of drinks that is anything but ordinary. Daniel even takes his art beyond the menu by concocting a daily drink special, plus he makes customized drinks based on his patrons’ requests.

 

The novel atmosphere and chill vibe of Infuxn make it a great place for a date or to meet up with friend. Recently, my friend Carrie and I stopped here and relaxed while we sampled a few of Daniel’s masterpieces.

 

I’ll admit, I’d assumed that all of the drinks would be vodka-based, since Infuxn is a vodka bar. While many of them are, I later realized that the two drinks I’d ordered had not a drop of vodka in them.

 

This is the French Connection.

 

infuxn french

 

Beautiful, isn’t it?

 

But it’s not what I ordered, and that was my own fault. When our server placed this pretty brandy snifter on the table, I realized that it looked nothing like the icy Last Summer that I’d intended to order. Glancing back at the menu, I saw that the French Connection was listed below the Last Summer, and I must have been so intrigued with it that the words “French Connection” came out of my mouth when my brain meant to say “Last Summer.”

 

Oops.

 

But instead of sending the drink back, I opted to try it. After all, Infuxn is the place to sample innovative concoctions that you can’t find anywhere else.

 

The French Connection is made with a variety of ingredients, many of which I looked up before writing this article because I wasn’t exactly sure what they were, like Bulleit Rye (Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey) and Green Chartreuse (a naturally green liquor made from alcohol, sugar, and 130 plants and flowers). Add in some orange bitters, house maple syrup, serve it over a muddled sugar cube, and garnish it with an orange peel and fresh rosemary, and you’ve got your French Connection.

 

Fragrant and subtly sweet – yet potent – this is definitely a sipping drink. I would even order it again – on purpose.

 

Carrie started out with the tropical Lusca, which is Infuxn’s version of a Mai Tai.

 

infuxn lusca

 

The Lusca is made with Pyrat rum, The Kraken black spiced rum, Cointreau, and fresh lime, pineapple, and orange juices. Lime syrup and orgeat (I had to look this up, too: a syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water) are added, then the mixture is shaken, strained, and served over ice.

 

 

It won’t come as a surprise that the next drink I ordered was the Last Summer.

 

infuxn last summer

 

Made with Hendrick’s gin, lavender-ginger syrup, and fresh lemon juice, this elixir is served over ice and topped with a Luxardo cherry. This refreshing drink goes down easily, so pace yourself – especially on a hot day. And do yourself a favor and eat that decadent (and expensive) Luxardo cherry on top; fruity with a hint of amaretto, Luxardo cherries are the luxe cousins of the familiar Maraschino cherries.

 

 

Carrie ordered the popular Moscow Mule next.

 

infuxn mule 1

 

This shiny, chilled copper mug contained Russian Standard vodka, ginger beer, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a special ingredient (ooh, mystery!) and was topped with a slice of lime and a slice of cucumber. This invigorating drink is a guaranteed thirst-quencher on a sultry day.

 

Halfway through my second drink, my stomach piped up and asked me to fill it with something more substantial than liquid. I’ve learned by now not to argue with my stomach, so I asked for a food menu, which contained a variety of small-plate options.

 

I ordered the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, which provided a creamy, salty contrast to my mildly sweet drink.

 

infuxn crab

 

Carrie, a vegan, ordered the hummus.

 

infuxn hummus

 

The hummus flavor that day was garlic, and it was served with fresh celery, carrots, and fried naan (which is lightly seasoned and highly addictive).

 

I’m excited that Infuxn is part of Joplin; it offers a one-of-a-kind experience in our city, making it a must-visit place for both tourists and locals.

 

Just make sure you practice saying the name before you go.

 

 

 

Infuxn is located at 503 S. Main St. Click here to visit Infuxn’s website.

 

To read more about my adventures in the area, visit JoplinMOLife.com.