Papa Keno’s, a well-known pizza place in Lawrence, recently returned to its original home in Westport. Less than a ten minute drive from the UMKC campus, the pizza joint has all the makings of college student’s favorite pizzeria.
Upon walking into Papa Keno’s, the atmosphere blends with the rest of historic Westport. Exposed brick on the walls, giant TVs, and a knowledgeable staff who makes you feel incredibly at home. After ordering at a bar from giant hand written chalk menus, referring to everything as a “pizza pie,” you get a slice of pizza larger than your head and tastes out of this world. Mind-blowing.
This pizza is not just any New York-style pizza. The cranium-sized concoction is possibly the best New York sized pizza to hit the hopping streets of Westport.
One of the owners, Tyler Parker, recommended the specialty pizza “Mama Keno.” Made from Roma tomatoes, fresh spinach, feta, romano and roasted garlic, all atop a crust which engulfs the entire deliciousness of the succulent pizza. The size and appearance of the pizza only make it taste that much better, and it fills up the average human to full capacity.
The most appealing aspect of the new Papa Keno’s is its adherence to the college lifestyle – living the broke life. The prices can make any crying wallet happy once more, with only $8.50 for a two topping slice of pizza (remember, the slices are on steroids), either a side salad or a breadstick, and a drink. More than enough food at a price that is cheaper than a full lunch elsewhere. Each day of the week also has its own special, with Monday’s being a one topping pizza, side and drink for only $5.
The breadsticks that come on the side may not beat the pizza by taste, but they prove a close second.
“I’ll make them with extra cheese or even pepperonis on top,” manager Sean Annable said.
Annable fit well with the atmosphere of the room. The whole restaurant has a homey sense to it, complete with the sarcasm of a younger generation. On top of the bar is a giant roll of sheet paper and beer pitchers filled with crayons. Around 1a.m., both go out onto the tables as the slightly intoxicated people of Westport come in.
“You’d be amazed at what drunk people draw,” Annable said. “It’s pretty vulgar.”
Papa Keno’s is located on 415 Westport Road. It’s open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant also delivers from open to close. If you find yourself ever in need of a huge slice of heaven, call 816-599-4704.