You could take your date to Rural Grit Happy Hour every single Monday, and you’d still never have the same date twice. The Rural Grit music collective has been playing American roots music in KC for 16 years, and if there’s no act designated on the calendar, members of the group perform with whomever drops in – sometimes with homemade instruments. It also might be the only time you can legitimately promise someone a Hug From Ryan Gosling if they go out with you.
The Amigonis made a beautiful tasting room out of the old Daily Drover Telegram building in the West Bottoms, and six bucks gets you a taste of five wines, many of which come from the tap. That means fresher wine, less landfill waste and special blends you’ll only find at Amigoni.
If small talk over dinner or coffee isn’t your thing, these arcade-bar hybrids are your new go-to. There are about a million beers on tap between the two of them, and the ‘80s-90s nostalgia is strong. When the tokens run out, you can catch a cult movie at Screenland Theater in Tapcade or head upstairs to Up/Down’s awesome patio.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the big white arrow that says BEER. The Belfry is a cozy little spot off Grand Street with awesome whiskey cocktails, a good beer list and bartenders who know their stuff. Bonus points: It’s owned by Iron Chef alum Celina Tio, so the food is great, and she does really cool stuff for KC. Case in point: Last year, she tapped a sour blend beer at The Belfry that she created custom with Jolly Pumpkin brewmaster Ron Jeffries.
Cook something together
Pack a picnic
Let’s assume you’re having your date on one of the four days per year that KC does not have extreme weather. A picnic is a great idea. Try Loose Park or the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins. Pack local stuff you found at The Sundry, the City Market or Better Cheddar, like Savory Addictions nuts, Our Sassy Pantry's Bacon Jam, or cheese from Green Dirt Farm.
A twist on the movie date
Country Club Plaza
Food, drink and atmosphere - you really cannot go wrong at Gram & Dun. Allow us to recommend the Smoking Dun, the Burnt End Mac & Cheese and the Gram & Dun Bar. If it’s nice out, park it on the patio by the fire pits.
This place is French bohemia in the heart of Kansas City. The food and wine are top-notch, but what sets the Frog apart is the staff. You’ll get points for suggesting the place, but watch out or your server might outcharm you.
Yard games at Char Bar
First things first, Char Bar has great BBQ in the heart of Westport, and it’s worth noting they have some great vegetarian options, too. But the real fun happens on their beer garden, which is huge and, just past the firepits, has stuff like croquet, bocce ball and tire swings for grown-ups.
This is an in-demand experience because of the Kansas City history and, of course, the great whiskey. Tours will open up again in September (they close in July and August due to weather), so keep your eye out for tour postings. In the meantime, you could pour your date a Horsefeather – find the recipe on J. Rieger’s website.
The Green Lady Lounge
Some of KC’s best jazz talent plays here regularly. It’s always dark and sultry with cozy two-top tables right in front of the stage or big, comfy booths farther back.
You won’t be the first duo to look out over the riverfront. That would be Lewis and Clark. But these days, there’s a nice little sitting area at River Bluff Park on Beardsley Road, or you can try the Town of Kansas Bridge. People have started putting “love locks” on the bridge, a la Pont des Arts – Paris of the Plains, indeed.