Despite common perceptions about the Midwest, we have culture, education and much more than farms in the center of our country. In an effort to prove the fact that we Midwesterners have long moved past Mom jeans and Christmas sweaters, we remind our coastal friends that middle America is home to several major fashion brands. There is more than enough to explore and we couldn’t think of a better location for one of our stores than Kansas City. It’s a town full of rich history and extremely diverse culture. The opportunity to experience everything from unique shopping to historical areas, to fine dining and incredible libations, awaits to intrigue you in this not-so-little city. If you happen to have a chance to poke your head in and visit us, might we suggest some of our very favorite places that we locals love.
Antiques: The West Bottoms is a marketplace that houses a mind-blowing amount of antique and re-purposed retail stores. The cluster of tall brick and mortar buildings and warehouses which make up the market date back to the 19th century, and was an integral part of the river trade. What makes this area so unique is that many of the merchants are only open on the first weekend of every month. The streets are lined with food trucks, and street performers, and beautiful period music fills the air. Lover of antiques or not, it’s a pretty beautiful experience in history.
The Perks: Kansas City is a coffee town! The streets are dotted with brew shops that offer flavors to fit every taste. Our favorite happens to be a little bit artisan with a slight unintimidating hipster twist. Thou Mayest Roasters was founded by two coffee lovers, of course. This java hub is cozily nestled in a charming 110 year-old building with a massive bar on the first floor (they also do craft cocktails) and plenty of seating on the second floor. Beans are roasted on site, and you can watch your coffee brewed and filtered by hand, no fancy machinery here! Thou Mayest cares about your coffee, offering a TRUE coffee experience that is really hard to find.
Serious and Savory: Food doesn’t get much better than it does in the Midwest. And although Kansas City finds itself with more than its fair share of James Beard-nominated and award winning chefs, one holds our hearts and tastebuds. At the helm of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange is Howard Hanna. This man isn’t just a chef, or an artist, he’s pretty much a food God. Biting into anything that Hanna has seen fit to put on a plate is like bliss passing through your lips. The building, again, has an amazingly impressive past, which is not forgotten in the décor. If dinner wasn’t enough, they also boast a secret basement speakeasy, named Manifesto. But I warn you, the list is long and the space is small, so if you’re feeling slightly 1920’s, make a reservation!
Block Party: A stroll down a Parisian sidestreet isn’t really an 8-hour flight away. The historic Crestwood Shops is a highly curated line of local merchants and restaurants offering unique clothing, cuisine, wine, antiques, home décor, and even flowers. Posh and artisan, our neighboring merchants at Crestwood offer an experience that is untouched by anything else in Kansas City. From the hard-to-find wines of Underdog Wine Co. to the exquisite fine English antique furniture found at Charlecote, you’ll be shopping like the locals when you meander down 55th street.
Of course it goes without saying that one of our favorite places to spend time soaking in some culture is the Nelson-Atkins Museum. Along with our most coveted hidden gems of Kansas City, there are many more amazing events, shops, eats, and experiences that set our city apart. So next time you find yourself deep in the heart of the Midwest, venture out and take it all in, who knows, you might fall in love with us!