A healthy crowd of thirsty beer drinkers from the nearby KU campus keeps the taps flowing at the Sports Page in Lawrence, Kansas. The stand-alone two-story building at Kasold and Clinton appears as an island surrounded by the parking lot of a large grocery store. Inside, the decor is pure "sports bar." Above the brick and cement floors a 20-foot ceiling is blanketed with sports photos. A domed center 40 feet in height features draped NFL and college flags while the surroundings sport athletes' photos. A canoe and windsurfer hang overhead in bold defiance of contemporary OSHA regulations. The brewhouse actually stands above the L-shaped, 6-tap bar with some stainless steel vessels visible through the rows of football helmets. Silent TVs stand scattered throughout the room where the lounge area offers tall tables and chairs, painfully lacking of any server attention. Apparently the cigarette machine is expected to substitute as the source of gratification. Beyond the ground level booth seating lie dining tables surrounded by large windows with blinds. In the distance a poolroom beckons to the athletic sports fans while padded vertical I-beams function as "drunk protectors" for the sensory impaired.
The mostly 20-something crowd of 95% males seems at ease with the house beers served in 16 ounce plastic cups. Ashtrays are everywhere, in support of the chain-smoking habits of today's "state college" crowd's habits. Even the bathroom looks like it belongs in a frat house. Unfortunately, the beers are all non-descript and uninspiring, in spite of names like Honey Wheat, Raspberry Wheat, Golden Glove, Crimson Ale (nice hop over malt flavor), Pigskin Porter, Flyweight Light, and Hefeweizen. With its steel shelves of "hard liquor" and pandering to the mass market neophyte college drinkers, Sports Page may continue to survive but aficionados of craft beer will likely look elsewhere for full-flavored malt beverages.
Sports Page - Lawrence
Clinton Parkway & Kasold
Lawrence, KS 66044
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - June, 1999
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