Dating sucks. This is an indisputable fact. Dating has probably always sucked, but if you’re single in this decade, it particularly sucks thanks to the ubiquity of dating apps. For many of us, scrolling through Tinder, Bumble, Hinge or any of the knock-offs yields a bag of mixed results — usually skewing on the yuck side. (Have you ever had to swipe left on an ex? How about a boss? What about your own parent?)
Sometimes, though, you match with someone and you wade through the inane icebreaker texts and manage to lock in an IRL date. Now what? Where do you decide to meet your potential future partner-slash-murderer?
You need something budget-friendly but not cheap. Something with a good variety of drinks and food but nothing where you feel required to eat. Bonus points if the bar is in a neighborhood with other hot spots within walking distance, in case things are going well enough to test the lighting at a second location. And, obviously, you need a place with an easy exit (or at least hiding places).
Parlor (1707 Locust St., Kansas City, Mo. 816-875-4813, parlorkcmo.com) in the Crossroads Arts District checks all these boxes. The two-story food hall has a bar on each floor and seven different restaurant stalls through the venue. There’s truly something for every palate here, from tap beers and Providence’s Detroit-style pizza to craft cocktails and Sura Eats’ stylish kimchi pancake. You order drinks and food separately, and there’s no table service, so you can go at your own pace — whether that means slamming your vodka-soda and rushing off to “the bathroom” or spending several hours making eyes at each other on Parlor’s three-seasons deck.