Taking Five

We are very sad to have to make this announcement, but Take Five is going to be taking an indefinite “set break” (in other words, we’re closing our doors) effective August 15.

When we signed the lease in December 2013 for our new location, we did so with all the excitement, hopes and expectations you could possibly imagine; a prime shopping center filling up quickly, and a brand new flagship sporting goods store on the way to bring even more people by our front door.  We knew we were taking a risk being on the south side of the center – it was so hard to find we even had to call Google to get our map point fixed – but we knew we’d have more stores and more cars very soon. We designed the room from the ground up for acoustics and gave our musicians the stage they very richly deserved – and people came, and listened, and it was amazing.  We continued our dedication to quality coffee and added a quality full menu to the mix; we hosted a rehearsal dinner, a wedding and three graduation parties in just 9 months.

Fast forward to today, and those doorways next to us still aren’t full, and information about when they will be isn’t available.  Additionally, two days before Scheels opened we found out they had a Starbucks in their lobby.  The day they opened we had our second major plumbing backup, nearly closing us down on what should have been our biggest sales day in this location.

The plumbing issue is subject to ongoing legal action, so we can’t say much about that, other than we are very disappointed in the way it has been handled.  We are even more disappointed that development on the south side of the shopping center hasn’t happened; a year and a half after signing the lease, there is one business currently under construction.  We have tried to work this out with the developer to no avail, and coupled with the above-mentioned structural issues we simply have to admit it’s time to move on.  Unfortunately, we don’t have anywhere to move TO (and no, we can’t go back to our old location), nor do we have the funds to do so quickly.  We WILL be back, though, when the time – and most importantly the location – is right.

We would like to especially thank our families, without whom Take Five would not have been possible in the first place; our staff – who seriously are some of the best people on the planet; our customers who believed in us and followed us to our new location, and the ones who found us after we moved; and last but definitely not least the musicians who graced us with their talents every weekend.  Thank you all for participating in the creation of a community unlike any other in this part of the city.

Because we respect our community, we aren’t leaving in the middle of the night.  Some of you have gift cards you need to redeem, some of you may want to just come hang out and say “so long”, so we’re giving you our two weeks’ notice.  It may be unconventional but that’s pretty much been us all along.  So please – come by.  Tip your baristas well, they’ve earned it.  We’ll be having a Set Break Party on Saturday, August 15 hosted by Mark Lowrey and the La Fonda All Stars at 8pm.  We’ll be closed after the party is over, whatever time that might be.

Thank you again to those who supported us, cheered us on, became regulars, brought others to be regulars, sat breathless in front of Trio M, Bobby Watson, Avishai Cohen and the immense talent of our Kansas City jazz scene.  We are proud of what we accomplished, and there’s more to be done.  We’re just Taking Five.

Lori & Doug

Friday, July 31, 2015



Take Five Coffee + Bar

At the start of the day, at the end of the day, or somewhere in the middle, you need a break. Take Five.

You make tough decisions all day long, one after another. Your life is complicated enough. Your coffee needn’t be. Let us handle it. It’s good – you can depend on it – in fact, it’s several kinds of good, and not just the coffee. The food is fresh, just the kind of fuel you need, and it’s served in a setting where you can recharge and reconnect. A carefully selected lineup of good beers, wines, and coffee cocktails can help you unwind and find that sweet spot in your day.

On weekend evenings, Take Five transforms itself into one of the finest venues anywhere for experiencing live jazz. Our backbone is Kansas City’s jazz musician community, and we bring in the best from elsewhere too.

In our new, more spacious space at Corbin Park, 6601 W 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223, we have sought to take the things that have made Take Five special and make them better. The feeling you get here, of taking a moment to breathe, is the same.

Do you have a friend you really want to talk to? Got a deal you want to close on the best possible terms? Bring them here. Or drop by when you just want some time alone to think, surf the Web, listen to some great music, warm your feet by the fire, and sip a cup of incredible coffee. Take Five.

Kind Words

We’ve been fortunate to get some attention from local jazz and culture writers. Here’s the latest:


Concert Review: Avishai Cohen’s Triveni at Take Five Coffee + Bar

Photo by Bill Brownlee

Photo by Bill Brownlee

“Cohen, bassist Tal Mashiach and drummer Nasheet Waits seduced them with the boiling frog technique.”

Tal Mashiach, Avishai Cohen and Nasheet Waits at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by Andy Schwartz.

Tal Mashiach, Avishai Cohen and Nasheet Waits at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by Andy Schwartz.


Concert Review: The Chris Burnett/Dino Massa Group at Take Five Coffee + Bar

Few things on Kansas City’s jazz scene make me happier than seeing Doug and Lori Chandler break out extra chairs to accommodate unexpectedly large audiences at Take Five Coffee + Bar. […]

Photo from PlasticSax


Concert Review: Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar

If the musicians in attendance at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Sunday felt the same way I did, the Kansas City jazz scene may never be the same. […]

Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar, April 12, 2015: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson. Photo by James Martin

Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar, April 12, 2015: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson. Photo by James Martin


Clint Ashlock’s Jazz Messengers Tribute Sextet With Bobby Watson

[…] Jazz just doesn’t get much better than this. The evening ended with a standing ovation.

Think about that. Jazz with Bobby Watson, a standing ovation, in a coffee shop in Overland Park, Kansas, for five dollars.

If you missed it, kick yourself.

Clint Ashlock, Michael Shults, Bobby Watson, Ben Leifer, Brett Jackson at Take Five. Photo by KCJazzLark

Clint Ashlock, Michael Shults, Bobby Watson, Ben Leifer, Brett Jackson and Matt Leifer at Take Five. Photo by KCJazzLark

…and here’s a video of the last song of the evening, Bobby Timmons’ classic, Moanin’ (video courtesy of Zach Shemon and the UMKC Saxophone Studio), wherein the master schools the students and the students, masters in their own right, respond with everything they’ve got:


Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at Take Five

About a half hour into the first set, I counted at least 25 fans standing and swaying, chairs long since filled. So what do you do when listening to the Boogaloo 7 and there’s no place to sit? You dance, of course. And that wood floor right in front of the Take Five stage is the perfect place. […]

Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo 7 at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by KCJazzLark

Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by KCJazzLark

Plastic Sax

Concert Review: The James Isaac Quintet at Take Five Coffee + Bar

The first set of the debut performance of the James Isaac Quintet bridged the divide between the sounds heard in European concert halls and at the Village Vanguard.  A receptive audience of about three dozen attended the recital at Take Five Coffee + Bar. []

Plastic Sax

Concert Review: Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle at Take Five Coffee + Bar

A man in the full house at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Saturday wore makeshift earplugs.  The music performed by Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle merited the high volume. […]


Kansas City Art Community’s 15 Wishes For 2015

By CJ Janovy

Here’s our contribution to an article CJ Janovy did for KCUR’s website as part of their New Year’s coverage, our hopes, wishes and dreams for the Kansas City arts community in 2015. (CJ edited it for brevity and made it better, but we put the rough original below) …

Go to the story for answers to the same question from many more worthy contributors – you’ll see there’s a lot of enthusiasm about the city’s arts scene …

The arts require a two way conversation – artists to produce, patrons to consume – in order to thrive.  So our wishes for 2015 look at it from both perspectives:

In 2015, we wish that every person in the city – literally every person – would participate at least once in the local arts community. Go to a show, go to a gallery, attend your child’s school play. Better yet, take a neighbor or a friend with you.  Tell people about it the next day, and the day after that.  Introduce yourself to the artist, dancer, musician – shake their hand and say “thank you”.  If everyone in the city did that, even just once – what a difference it would make.

For the jazz scene specifically, we hope the jazz artists can stop questioning the art form’s relevance and just keep pushing it.  2015 may bring an explosion of interest in jazz.  It seems far-fetched, we know, but we think we’re starting to see it happen.  A lot of people are beginning to learn that the kind of jazz being played today by the immensely deep talent pool in Kansas City is nothing like what they’ve come to think of as “jazz”.  It’s a visceral, immersive experience.  We hope that more of the city’s artists and performers will feel emboldened to take chances; try something new that seems a bit weird.  At the very least, collaborate with someone new on some part of their work.

Lastly, if you’re an artist, look for new outlets for your work – somewhere to play, somewhere to hang your paintings.  If you happen to own a business, open your doors to the arts.  You don’t have to own a gallery or a music venue – it could be a restaurant, a bookstore, a boutique, or even a coffee shop.  We sincerely hope to see the arts embraced in every corner of the city in 2015 (and beyond).


Here’s a video from Dave Rizer, ace videographer, jazz singer and bon vivant, keeper of the KC Jazz Lovers page. It’s bassist Dominique Sanders with his trio of Andrew Ouellette on piano and Ryan Lee on drums, caught in the act at Take Five, Friday night, December 12, 2014.

“Tonight I experienced some really incredible music. Totally world class from any angle. I’d go as far as to say a perfect storm for brilliant jazz music. First you’ve got Take Five’s astonishing new stage, piano, and overall sound….Plus Andrew Ouellette having a musical love affair with that 88 key beauty…..Dominique Sanders pulling some cosmic (yes I said cosmic) lines out of that bass he commands and Ryan Lee just doing what Ryan Lee does best..makin all the rest of us think “this guy can’t be human”.

Plastic Sax

Now’s the Time: Elliott Levin

Jazz bohemian Elliott Levin will appear at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Saturday, November 22, and at the RecordBar on Sunday, November 23.  A press release from the Johnson County venue suggests that “this will be some of the wildest, most intense music we’ve ever had at Take Five.”


A Tale of Two Jazz Clubs Last Saturday Night

The next time someone tritely proclaims “jazz is dead,” escort them to Take Five on a Friday or Saturday night. Then see if they can still honestly mouth those words.


The People’s Liberation Big Band at the New Take Five

Let’s say you’re one of the community’s most beloved jazz spots, but you’ve outgrown your space. Let’s say you move to a new location more than double the size. Let’s say you pick a night as your official grand re-opening. So what group do you choose to baptize the new space?

Wait, before you answer, two more caveats. Let’s say you’re located in Johnson County. And let’s say putting a 26 foot long stage in a coffee shop establishes you as unconventional.

Now who do you pick? […]


The Pitch

Take Five Coffee + Bar takes a giant step 

When I arrive to meet Take Five Coffee + Bar co-owner Lori Chandler at her venue’s brand-new space at Corbin Park, plush red-leather chairs have just been delivered. They’re sumptuous things, deeper than they look — once you’ve burrowed into one, you’re reluctant to rise from it. Chandler is delighted by them. She pushes the chairs to the front of the platform stage, arranging and rearranging them like a kid trying out a toy. […]

Plastic Sax

Take Two of Take Five

By Happy In Bag

An inconspicuous sign in an inviting cranny of the new location of Take Five Coffee + Bar provides welcome news for Kansas City’s jazz scene.  The government-mandated plaque reads “maximum occupancy 189.” […]