Spencer is a freeware utility that allows users to bring back the classic XP styled Start Menu to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
It will give access to all your Start Menu entries as well as direct access to the Control Panel, Run dialog, Shut Down Windows, and Administrator command line.
Spencer's setup is a cinch, download, extract, and then right-click select to pin it to the taskbar (so it won't interfere with the 8.1 Start Button) or right in the start menu. You also have the option to set a shortcut key within the icon properties. This option will permit you to open the Start Menu with a keypress.