Sneak Peek: The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge Opens Aug. 21
The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge debuts on the Country Club Plaza on Aug. 21. Owner and architect David Manica, along with his expert team of bartenders and chefs, bring to life an elegant 3,500-square-foot space. General Manager Mark Church, a seasoned bar industry veteran, manages all operations at The Monarch.
The Main Bar, which is sculpted from imported Italian stone, seats 24 guests and has no back bar, allowing for unobstructed views throughout the space. Overhead, 1,000 Monarch butterflies comprise the chandelier, a partnership between Manica Architecture and Kansas City Art Institute graduate Nathan Neufeld. The installation is made of laser-cut and kiln-formed material that reflects the ever-changing light sequence from the ceiling. An additional 50 seats on banquettes encircle the room, with a fireplace on the north side. On the south side of the Main Bar hangs a triptych by oil painter Aaron Norris. Norris painted the hand-stretched canvases, which measure 5 feet by 9 feet each, with thick oils, using brushes and putty knives to add dimension and texture.
A small inner bar and lounge known as The Parlour features a cocktail list exclusive to the room, along with the rarest spirits and fine wines. The Parlour accommodates 15 guests and is equipped with a separate bar and bartender. Cocktails are inspired by Aesop's fables, such as The Labourer and the Nightengale (Belle Meade Cognac Cask, Blanton's The Original Single Barrel, Palo Cortado Sherry, vanilla brioche toast, Champagne acid, Creme de violette), which is served in a single birdcage and a cup that can be played by placing your mouth to the rim and blowing gently. The Parlour is by invitation and reservation only.
The glass-covered Monarch Terrace offers outdoor seating for up to 60 guests. This cozy area offers beverages exclusive to the Terrace, such as the Iron Lion, the Watermelon Crawl and the Wanderlust Julep. Each of these is available in large format, which serves up to four people.
Making its true debut in Kansas City, the bar cart has long been a staple of West London cocktail service. Used at the bartenders' discretion, the bar cart is equipped with six handcrafted versions of the classic Negroni. The cart also offers a wide variety of classic cocktails that may be stirred or thrown upon request.
The cocktail menu is inspired by the migratory patterns and flight paths of indigenous Monarch butterflies from around the world. The cocktails reside along the regional flight paths from which the spirits, modifiers and ingredients of each drink derive. The menu is divided into five sections: Mid-America ("through the heartland"), the Pacific Coastlines ("the ring of fire"), the Atlantic Coast ("an Appalachian spring"), Floribbean ("the easy life") and Trans-Atlantic Crossing ("the old world"). Guests can also choose from "perfectly classic cocktails" like cosmopolitans, horsefeathers and mojitos. A generous selection of spirits, wine and beer round out the drink menu. Bar manager Brock Schulte, along with bar consultant Brandon Cummins of Liquid Minded Concepts, are the masterminds behind the bar.
Executive chef Theresia Ota has curated a selection of snacks, small plates and desserts, including Caprese Spiedini, marinated olives, pigs in a blanket, and a boozy ice cream sandwich. Caviar service is also offered. Both the food and cocktail menus will change seasonally.
A portion of the proceeds from the official grand opening on Aug. 25 will benefit Children's Mercy. The Monarch will donate direct proceeds as well as 100 direct replicas of the butterflies from the chandelier in the Main Bar. For more information and to purchase tickets to the grand opening, click here.
4808 Roanoke Parkway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 437-7912, themonarchbar.com