Business Reviews

Trouser Mouse Bar & Grill

Written by  August 31, 2004

What do you think of when you hear the words, “Trouser Mouse?” No, no, not that, you sick puppies! And no, it’s not a strip club. Trouser Mouse owners, Brad and Angel Mallen still laugh at the number of phone calls they receive asking how many brass poles were on the main stage when they opened. What you should think of when you hear the name Trouser Mouse Bar & Grill is a great place to hear live blues and jazz, enjoy your favorite beverage and grab a bite to eat. Okay, so the name is um…different, but you have to admit, you’ll probably remember it and you certainly won’t confuse it with another bar’s name.

Now, let me tell you how Trouser Mouse got its name. Brad is one of those guys who has spent numerous hours helping others. Because he’s a humble guy, when someone tries to thank or compliment him, he just says it took 'us' or 'we' got the job done. The usual response is, 'We? You got a mouse in your pocket?' So there you have it, Trouser Mouse.

The Trouser Mouse Bar & Grill brings the blues to Blue Springs, Missouri. To describe it, try to imagine a juke joint with clean glasses. Of course, where blues and bikers come together, there must be beer. The Mouse is open seven days a week, so you never have to worry about quenching your thirst. Brad and Angel carry a variety of domestic and unique imported beer selections, both on tap and in the bottle. For those who prefer wine, Angel will be happy to let you choose something from her wine cellar. She works hard at finding the best wines at phenomenal prices and passes that savings on to you. Naturally, the usual assortment of other libations is also available from their full bar. With Angel and Brad as bartenders, you can get just about any kind of cocktail imaginable. They may be newbies as bar owners, but both are quite experienced bartenders. If you get hungry, don’t even think about trotting across the parking lot to McDonalds – the Mouse kitchen staff will fix you up with a killer cheeseburger or any of their other great menu items.

One item you won’t find on the menu is “Greasy Squirrel.” Yes, there is a story. Before the Mouse ever opened, Angel and Brad worked around their daytime gigs to put the place together. From the carpet to the ceilings, they cleaned, tore down, and replacing things along the way. When Brad began working on the kitchen he found himself surrounded by broken equipment and a dimming flashlight. When he crawled behind the broiler, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a good sized squirrel. A closer look revealed a pile of grease from the oven above and a decaying floor below. It was a grease squirrel! As Brad put it, “That’s when we pulled everything out except the kitchen sink.” Obviously, the old owners didn’t like soap or know what a grease trap was.” Yuk!

Angel and Brad have hit the right combination for a comfortable neighborhood bar and blues club; something that’s been missing in Blue Springs and the surrounding area for too long. If you live in eastern Jackson County, it’s great to know you don’t have to go across town when you want to hear live blues and jazz. When they opened last November, live music was featured one night per week. Now, bands play every Thursday, Saturday and some Fridays. Wednesdays feature an open blues jam that showcases local musicians and talented rising stars.

As for the bands, you can expect anything from newer electric (think Joe Bonamassa), swing blues (like Roomful of Blues), to delta blues (such as Robert Johnson.) You can go to their website at www.trousermousebar.com to get directions and check out the lineup or call 816-220-1222.

The Mouse has an extensive CD collection that plays in the background when live musicians aren’t around, so if you happen to stop by on one of those days, you will still hear the blues. When sitting and listening to music isn’t quite enough activity for you, they have pool tables, dart boards, Golden Tee and a huge selection of board games. It’s not unusual to see couples walk over and pick up 'Connect Four’, 'Battleship’, or a chess set before sitting down.

Starting with your first visit here, you’ll feel welcomed. It’s a good bet that the second time you walk through the door, Brad or Angel will call you by name and ask if you’re drinking “the usual.” You may be a regular customer at some bars, but if you frequent the Mouse you’ll end up feeling more like a treasured friend than just a “regular.” A word of warning, though – DO NOT PISS-OFF ANGEL! Brad says it best, “I’m the nice one.” Although she’s is a beautiful lady, just don’t make her mad. Believe me, this is “Her House” and she’ll deal with you as she sees fit.

Any time is a great time to visit the Trouser Mouse, but plan to spend at least part of Sunday, September 19th enjoying Brad and Angel’s hospitality. That’s the date for their first annual blues fest for Hope House, also known as ”Mouse for the House.” This will be an all day event featuring nine blues bands, door prizes, raffles and a silent auction. All proceeds, including the $10 per person cover charge will go to support Hope House. The blues fest gives you a chance to help Hope House while being treated to the sounds of great local blues artists. The door opens at noon, with the first band starting playing at 1 p.m. Performances should finish up sometime around 10 p.m., so ride on out and help the Mouse support this wonderful organization.

One final note, although the Trouser Mouse doesn’t sponsor a bike night at this time, don’t hesitate to ride up on your scoot. The staff is biker friendly and welcomes anyone in search of a refreshing cocktail, a bite to eat, and great blues.

Story by P.S. Eggen and photos by Wayne Thompson