Royal Liquors - Watt's Mill

Royal Liquors - Watt's MillRoyal Liquors - Watt's Mill
Royal Liquors - Watt's MillRoyal Liquors - Watt's Mill

1301 W 103rd St
Kansas City, Missouri, 64114-4514
United States

(816) 942-8888 | map

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3.96 by CraigDeMoss from Kansas on Jan 25, 2020
Photo of Harrison8
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
by Harrison8 from Missouri

At the corner of State Line and 103rd, this gas station offers up a lot by way of alcohol selection. Beer is all on the north side of the building, with dry shelves being categoried by import single bottles and import packs and then American craft single bottles and American craft packs. A couple coolers here offer up a few cold beer selections with the wall of coolers on the west side of the building containing even more. There is a mix-six section in the most southern cooler door, with bottles/cans priced per unit, allowing customers to pick up a random collection. Beer selection is hearty and quality, covering nearly all the styles. Import selection is robust as well, offering up some of the most often overlooked German and Belgium bottles and cans. Service is hit or miss, but is a direct hit when Reid - the beer manager - is working. He's an easy dude to chat with about beer, in terms of both making recommendations and talking about the beer scene in general.

May 13, 2019
4.07 by 22Blue from Kansas on Dec 05, 2015
4 by LambicPentameter from Nebraska on Aug 21, 2014
4 by Bsetz from Missouri on Aug 11, 2014
4.64 by Ewlew from Missouri on Aug 05, 2014
4.5 by Enochase04 from Ohio on Jun 30, 2014
4.5 by IrishTank from Kansas on May 28, 2014
3.75 by greenspointexas from Texas on Apr 30, 2014
4 by Theogre83 from Kansas on Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Flatlands
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
by Flatlands from Missouri

This is a surprising store since it is also a gas station, You would not expect to get great beer but this is KC! You get great BBQ from a gas station after all. I like this store because it is a store you need to wander around to see what is there. You can find some deals if you look. I ran into sone Green Flash Le Freak on sale! Oh Yeah! They had Nebraska Brewing Hop God. It was pricey but well worth it. If you live on the Kansas side of KC, go visit as Missouri seems to have easier liquor laws for beer distribution.

Great store to visit whenever you are in South KC. Spend time looking as the organization of the beer is somewhat loose.

Dec 30, 2012
Photo of booyahachieved3
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3
by booyahachieved3 from Kansas

I have a handful of bottle shops I frequent in the Kansas City area, but Royal may be my favorite. The store carries a large selection of domestic and imported brews as well as a variety of wines and liquor. While I can find better deals with some searching, they can't be beat on selection. What really makes this place special is Brad, the beer guy. He frequently updates Twitter and Facebook with new arrivals, and has been known to randomly set out limited and rare releases. Great staff and selection.

Dec 17, 2012
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
by zeff80 from Missouri

Located right off I-435 is a huge plus. It may be one of the easier stores to get to on my way through the south side of the city. It is a gas station/convenience store which surprised me. Great selection of beers with good organization. I've never seen so many varieties of the Mikkeller single hop series. Rows are organized by country. A very small and limited mix a six section is there, too. They have some good glassware, too. They had a deal on the glassware if you a beer from the same brewery. Staff wasn't very helpful but it is a gas station. They did hook me up with a Deschutes sticker when I asked a question about their Deschutes selection. This is a really good beer store in the KC area.

Jan 12, 2012
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5
by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

The wife and I drove by this place while en route to our friends' house in nearby Mission, Kansas. I remembered seeing a listing for this joint here on BA so I decided to check it out...

The location/atmosphere is quite crazy, what with a massive liquor store being part of a gas station! A little dumpy in its surroundings and looks, but once you're inside it's all good. Literally a TON of beer!

First you stumble upon a large bomber shelf, with Chimay, Ommegang, Duvel, all of the Boulevard Smokestacks, Avery, Grand Teton, Southern Tier, New Holland, Stone, Jolly Pumpkin, Mikkeller... plus a lot of locals from Missouri/Kansas like Doodle Brew, Cathedral Square, Weston Brewing.

Keep going past the bombers and find the six-pack section, with Lagunitas, Breckenridge, Odell, Arcadia, Bells (five different ones), Founders, New Belgium, Southern Tier. Widner Bros and Bridgeport from Oregon, which I have not seen around the Midwest. All COLD! Now this is rare, and I sure do love it...

The Mikkeller shelf is amazing, with pretty much every single variety of the Barrel-Aged Black Hole series, including Tequila and Cognac and the works. Also the Single Hop series.

Some strange beers from abroad, like 8 Wired from New Zealand, Hel&Verdoemenis and other obscure Euros, plus a ton of Belgians (a whole aisle, in fact).

Last but not least, there is an extra aisle for warm American craft six-packs and bombers, where I saw Moylan's and Jolly Pumpkin.

You can tell by now the selection here is OUTSTANDING. The only thing I didn't like about Royal Liquors was the service. Nonexistent, cold, indifferent. The cashier couldn't even say "hello" and simply uttered the amount of my beer. Whatever. Other than that, this is a must stop in the KC area.

Sep 24, 2011
Photo of mizzouguy
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
by mizzouguy from Missouri

This place is the go to spot for beer in the south of Kansas City or if you are along I-435. The store doesn't look like much and it is part of a gas station but do not worry, it is the place to be. A lot of selection in the cooler and even more in the front of the store. Basically has all the beer that is available in the state of Missouri. The beer manager is a very knowledgeable and very nice guy who will talk beer and let you know what to look out for in the near future. Like them on facebook and keep an eye out for the tastings they have from time to time. The prices are as good as anywhere in the city. If you are south in Kansas City you should look up this place and stop by to get what you need.

May 14, 2011
Photo of HOPPYKC
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
by HOPPYKC from Kansas

I was going atround place to place to find the Hopslam Ale that Bells brewery had released just recently. This place is amazing. They have almost everything you could ask for. They sell microbrews that are extremely hard to find. The guy i was talking to actually sold me one of his 2 mini kegs of hopslam that he had. THANKS!!! Overall this place has alot in the cooler and has alot to offer in single bottles. If you live in the Knasas City area it would benifit you to go to this place. You would be amazing to see what Missouri can sell but Kansas connot. Once again thanks to the people at Royal for giving me the Hopslam.

Jan 24, 2011
Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
by emerge077 from Illinois

Haven't been here in a long while. It's still pretty disorganized with some areas that really needs a deep cleaning. Crusty beer soaked towels on the floor, heavy layers of dust. Import shelves are languishing, half the store is. Needs a serious redesign. That said, there are still gems here if you know where to look. Picked up American Solera last time.

The guys working here on a weeknight were friendly enough when I asked a question. Overall it has some redeeming qualities, and cheap gas.

12-2010 re-visit: Wow, things have gone downhill here...not quite the excellent selection as before, but there are still remnants of it. Sadly the beer aisles are in full sunlight. Some obscure quality imports still (no more drie fonteinen or uerige), maybe more than Lukas in KCK, but not worth the risk here of light-struck bottles, imho.

Spirits were 20-25% more here than in KCK for the same stuff. No staff on the floor. Left empty-handed. Wondering if they are transitioning to a smaller selection, or just in between beer buyers.

12-2006: 4.2/A
From the minute I entered the store and started admiring the case display of La Folie, someone was there to assist and talk about beer. This guy was beyond helpful, and friendly too. After visiting a second time, without the beer guy, service was just ok.

The selection was very nice, great Belgian, German, and other Euro imports. St. Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition was there, Drie Fontienen, Caracole, Rochefort, De Dolle, as well as Uerige Sticke, and other harder to find goodies. There was a great selection of US craft too, including most Bell's varieties, Schlafly (found 2 reserve varieties), Boulevard, New Belgium, Avery, Great Divide, etc.

Prices were reasonable, even on the limited release stuff. A discount was received for buying 6 import singles. If I lived here, this would be my go-to store!

Dec 24, 2010
Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
by Billolick from New York

Larger booze, wine and beer distribution spot the beer is to the right and up front as you enter the store, as well as in several cooler units along the back wall. Nice selection of the expected locals, regionals and then a better then average for what I saw in the area imports. Founders, New Belgium, Boulevard, O'Dells, Great Divide come to mind for some interesting stuff, but they had a lot more...Pleasant and informative dude helped me find the Saison Brett bombers from Boulevard and guided me around the place for a quick tour. Quite decent if not amazing place, worth a visit if in the area.

Aug 08, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
by hwwty4 from Missouri

Edit 05-09-08
Both Sam and Chris no longer work there. They don't know what they have in stock or what they are getting in. It's kind of depressing. The people there don't know much about beer.

I have to say that Chris is still working there. I talked to him about finding some Chocolate Indulgence about a week ago. He is absolutely brilliant when it comes to talking about beer. I also have to extol the qualities of the rest of the people that work there. Sam is one of my favorite beer guys. If you ask him for a beer that they don't carry, within seconds he has called half of his distributors trying to find out who carries it, if he can get it in MO, and when it will be available. No matter how many annoying questions I ask them, they never tell me to go away. They have the best beer selection of all the small-medium sized liquor stores in KC. This is my go to liquor store. While they don't have the selection of other larger stores in KC, the people make up for it. Their staff is great. I will continue to make Royal my number 1 liquor store

Dec 15, 2007
Photo of crazybrody06
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
by crazybrody06 from Indiana

Had no idea what was inside this place, went in to maybe find some local KC stuff, but what I found astonished me and I spent more time and money there then what I expected. This place has everything. I picked up some Samuel Smiths of which that had about 10 differents styles and some Rogue which they also had a great selection of. The place is huge. They have probably 10 coolers of beer 2 or 3 which are full of craft beers. They have three aisles about chest high filled with great beers on both sides. They also have a huge selection of liquor. The service wasnt bad the clerks were nice but I didnt ask them any questions, nor was there any type of presence of the floor. The prices seemed really good too.

Oct 01, 2007
Photo of GordonS
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
by GordonS from Missouri

Several of the previous reviewers have noted "the beer guy," and in a favorable way. I'm sorry to report to you that Chris had his last day in the store today. He told me he's leaving for a paraprofessional job with the Shawnee Mission schools as he prepares for a teaching career. I will miss him, as his knowledge FAR surpasses mine. I asked him a not-too-easy question today: What have you got that's close to an Alaskan spruce tips ale, and he didn't miss a beat, and recommended Scots Pine Ale by Williams Bros. Brewing Co., in Scotland. What surprised me was that he said he'd tried all of the selections they offered (a mixed 6-pack), and that this one was the one he'd thought he'd favor least, but it ended up being one he favored most. That ability to be objective, but discriminating, was what made Chris valuable to customers. Sadly, he said he didn't think his employer would try to replace him. The counter service is nothing to rave about, so my guess is that while the selection may continue to be outstanding for this region, we'll be pretty much on our own in making our choices.

I will say that Royal is great for giving you a range of offerings from the brewers they stock. If you like one item you've tasted somewhere, they'll give you a chance to see what else they've brewed. I took advantage of this today when I saw the display for O'Fallon Brewery, on the St. Louis side. They offer a "Smoke" smoked porter, which I thought I'd buy for the Sept. meeting of the KC Bier Meisters (as I'm anxious to discuss Alaska, where the style is well-known). Royal is still a place you owe it to yourself to visit.

Sep 14, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
by udubdawg from Kansas

Nice selection. Lots of Schlafly and some O'Fallon, (but the 5-day IPA hadn't made it there yet when I visited.) Surprisingly good selection of imports, especially Belgians. Some really high quality stuff here. Some helpful Rate Beer shelftags for the forgetful.

Found a couple bottles that were on the old side, but have generally been pleased with the quality. Decent selection of singles in the mix-a-six section.
*edit* - (less of a selection in the mix-a-six section this time, but not too bad - basically mixed a 6 with 3 each of two seasonal beers I missed out on - all were still fine despite a month or two past prime drinking age. Also note that although I often see several beers past their dates in here, I've had good luck buying them anyway and wishing for the best - had some great London Pride that was well past it's drink-by date just last weekend)

A little disappointed in the service, or lack thereof, I received on both visits...but then one was pretty late at night, and the other was on a Sunday. I'll be by again, hopefully soon, to give them another shot.

Mar 31, 2007
Photo of beerN3RD
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
by beerN3RD from Colorado

I really enjoyed myself at this establishment. When i first walked into this place i felt like a little kid at a candy store. But now the candy is more grown up and i am no longer a kid. The way they divided the liqour from the wine and from the beer was pretty good. Everything was very easy to find. The rums were all located in the same place. In the beer section they were divided by the freezer section, then the US microbrews. They had quite a few Belgian beers and also beers from just about anywhere else seperate into the propper location. The guy that handles the beer section is very knowledgeable and likes to talk about beer, which is good. He actually has been to Belgium, which i thought was great!!! I thought the selection was great (over 400 beers, 500 in the winter) and the service was superb.

Jan 10, 2007
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
by homebrewhawk from Kansas

This is one of the better liquor stores for beer on the South side of KC. Pretty good selection of micros. Lots of European beers. Nice line up of Belgian, German, and British beers. They also have some pretty obscure Baltic and Russian beers. They allow you to build your own six pack from a selection of beers.
A good amount of cooler space is devoted to good beer. They seem to have upgraded their beer selection in the past year or so.

A lot of the beer is located near a north facing window, which has always bothered me a little. It has a screen on it however. Prices are not the best in town, but the selection is pretty solid. Service on the beer side of the store seems a little spotty.

This is also a good store for wine, they have a very extensive selection.

It is right off of 435, so it would be a quick stop for someone travelling through town.

Nov 13, 2006
Photo of bditty187
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
by bditty187 from Nebraska

Update: The widow problem as been largely fixed. The service has been hit or miss but I know they have at least on guy there that knows beer. The selection is better than Gomer’s but the Belgian section really hasn’t "wowed" me lately but they have added a few better domestic craft beers. Some of the prices seem high. This still seems to be the beer store to beat in KC.

Old review from 05-23-05:

(Old scores: Quality: 4; Service: 3; Selection: 4.5)

Impressive… most impressive. Better then Gomer’s on Holmes. Best beer store in Kansas City… that I’ve been too.

I was a bit worried when I pulled up on a busy Friday night. The large white building with gas pumps in front didn’t exude the image of a place to buy good beer. Nor did all the Cardinal (baseball) fans leaving with Bud or Michelob Ultra… I guess they couldn’t cut the umbilical cord!

Once inside I noticed most of the store was devoted to wine and hard liquor. Once I found the beer, to the left and left-back coolers I was quite happy. But I didn’t like the big windows exposing the beer to sunlight. At least the window is facing north. Still this is something they should look into…

For American micros, Royal had a good selection from Bell’s, Berghoff, Rouge, a couple from Bridgeport, many from St. Louis Brewery, Boulevard, Goose Island, Great Divide, SA, SN, Anchor, Pony Express, Otter Creek and more.

Overall, the import section was good with a modest row devoted to English and German beer; I didn’t pay much attention to these but I did notice many quality beers. The Belgians looked good though! They had offerings from Unibroue, Cantillon, Chouffe, Duvel, Orval, Rochefort, Dupont, Caracole, and many more. There was a couple Bière de Garde I had not seen before. I wish I had taken some notes because the selection was very good. There were at least a dozen Belgian/French beers that I had not even seen before… plus there was another dozen or so I had not sampled.

How was the help you ask? Well they were busy when I was there. I didn’t see any employee “beer guy” or anything so I can’t really comment on the service. The checkout ladies were pleasant tough.

I will be back.


Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Gruntlumber
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
by Gruntlumber from Missouri

If I had written this review a year ago, it would not be as "glowing" as I will write today. The guy in charge of the beer is really taking initiative to get new stuff in these days. He has shown me his list of stuff he can get and I must say it's quite impressive. Royal's used to have basically all the same stuff Gomers had, but now the selection at Royals is better. The prices are definitely higher than Gomers though. I can easily find $.50-$2 per-six-pack price variations between the two stores. But, like I said, the selection is top-notch.
Along with all the standard craft brews from Bell's, Schlafly, Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's, Berghoff, Bridgeport, etc (you know the list), they have an amazing selection of single bottles (imports) unavailable elsewhere. Just as an example, where else can you get a bottle of Cantillon Broucsella (1900) Grand Cru?
I also have a gripe about the windows; WAY too much light gets into this place. I frequently avoid buying beers I really wanted simply because they sit on a display rack in direct sunlight. That's one good thing about Gomers: that place is a dungeon.
I fill gas here as much as I can just so I can browse for deals; it's common to find a clearence deal on some good stuff.

Edit: Ok, looks like they're slowly but surely fixing the window problem. Windows are mostly covered around the beer area, although not completely. I guess it would be hard logistically to completely fix it so this will have to suffice.

Sep 26, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
by Quaffer from Nevada

Royal Liquors is, in my opinion, on equal footing with Gomer's when it comes to beer stores in Kansas City. While the selection might be a bit smaller (not to imply that it is small, because it is not), there are things there that I cannot get at Gomer's. For instance, I picked up four consecutive vintages of Lee's Harvest Ale at Royal. Plus, they have Lindeman's Cuvee Rene. That alone makes me stop by each time that I make a trip to KC.

As I stated, the selection is amazing. Don't be fooled by the weak cooler section. Go check out what they have on the shelves.

The employees were great each time I have been in. Some of the newbies have been a little inexperienced about all the brews, but they were excited about the world of beer and on the path to becomes true BAs.

It's just a short trip on I-435 from Holmes to State Line, so you might as well hit Royal the next time you visit Gomer's. I'm pretty sure that you will go back.

Jan 13, 2005
Royal Liquors - Watt's Mill in Kansas City, MO
Place rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 28 ratings