KC Bucket List: Weston Weekend Guide
Mindy Hargesheimer of KC Bucket List takes us on the perfect Kansas City weekend getaway to Weston. Read on for insider tips on all the boozy, culinary, and cultural delights that Weston has to offer.
Weston is a GEM of an escape, full of character and experiences! My weekend guide to Weston includes a stay at The (uber-charming) Murphy House B&B just off Main Street, dinner at The (simply romantic) Vineyards Restaurant, a Holladay Distillery tour at (the GORG) sprawling property, a visit to Pirtle Winery, a meal at (the delectable) Noah's Cupboard, shopping at (the cool cat) Cactus Creek boutique & Beer Cellar, and more! Supporting local KC and our outskirt neighbor is nothing short of fulfilling.
The Murphy House Bed & Breakfast | 926 Spring Street
Nestled just two short blocks from Main Street in downtown Weston stands The Murphy House Bed and Breakfast, a gorgeous Victorian home built in 1912, owned and operated by the lovely Mary Jo Heidrick, great granddaughter to Lee and Susan Clouser Murphy who acquired the home in 1920. The majority of the house is filled with genuine family heirlooms, including vintage black and white family photos and beautiful trunks, tables, and chic 1900s accessories. With just two rooms to relax in overnight, The Rose Room and The Blue Room are private rooms located on the second floor, each with its own private bathroom a few short strides down the cozy hallway. After a peaceful night's sleep, wake up to 7:30 am coffee downstairs, followed by a sit down brunch at 9:30, where you are joined by your fellow residents vacationing down the hall. Mary Jo whips up an incredible feast, one of which we indulged in green chile egg casserole with cherry tomatoes and parmesan, breakfast sausage, orange juice and a sugary cinnamon roll to complete the savory and sweet start to the day ahead. Start your morning on the beautiful wrap around porch, perfect for taking in your morning coffee while listening to the peaceful sights and sounds of nature, The Murphy House is just steps away from meandering around Weston for shopping, dining, parks, cocktails, live music and more. Mary Jo was the sweetest hostess-with-the-mostess, taking full care of us, giving us insight into all of Weston's offerings, and ensuring we had the most enjoyable experience upon our visit. One glance at TripAdvisor, and you'll see Mary Jo's perfect score for her historic, charming, and beautiful estate!
Weston Brewing Company and O'Malley's Pub | 500 Welt Street
I present to you: Weston Brewing Company and O'Malley's Pub, the dynamic duo of Weston!! If you can't make it across the pond to Ireland, and KC's Irish pubs feels a tad too urban, at Weston Brewing Company you can jig your little heart away with some local beer tastings, Irish-inspired food, and two levels of acoustics 60 feet underground!! We actually kicked off our staycation here with a noon-hour lunch and beer samplings at the casual and old-fashioned-feeling American Bowman restaurant, setting our sights on the pub grub features, including The O'Malley (corned beef, swiss cheese, marinated slaw, and spicy brown mustard piled high on marbled rye) and Irish Stout Shepard's Pie. Paired with a sampling of seven beers brewed on-site, we took in the sights and signage of this historic landmark dating back to the 1840s, with witty and informative plaques throughout the property. Eat and drink inside or out in the beer garden with a beautiful wooded-view, and return later to O'Malley's 1842 Irish Pub, an establishment down under in the original cellars of Weston Brewing Co. Two musical stages live amongst a dark and truly unique setting with Irish vibes palatable and uplifting. This place is TRULY a one-of-a-kind bar and live music venue and by far one of our favorite visits on our trip!!
Green Dirt Farm | 1099 Welt Street
If you are not already familiar, Green Dirt Farm is a farm and creamery founded in 2002. They offer farm tours, cheese tastings with beer and wine pairings, and Farm Table Dinners led by so many of KC's best in the food and beverage circuit (hosted in the most gorg barn setting, btw!). These events sell out fast, for obvious reasons, so reserve early!
Green Dirt Farm tours of the milking and cheese-making process introduce you to the adorably tightknit squad of sheep that supply us with such incredibly flavorful hard and soft cheeses. Guarded by their protective big brother dogs on property (coyotes!), the sheep know their owners by voice and will trail their audio 'round and 'round the farm to be near. Green Dirt Farm wins multiple awards year after year for their sheep's milk cheeses, something that differentiates them from the cow and goat-cheese makers in the US, and their commitment to the treatment of their soil feeds their sheep yummy grass, producing flavorful milk from happy, nourished animals.
Complete your experience at the Creamery inside or out on the patio of the with beer- or wine-paired cheeseboards that please the palate, to say the VERY least! Grab an ice cream cone and some goodies from the market on your way out! If you’re hooked but visit the farm every time the craving strikes, worry not! Green Dirt Farm sells craft cheese board collections that ship anywhere in the US.
I absolutely love Green Dirt Farm and love supporting our local providers who put their heart and soul into their trade for our enjoyment!
Pirtle Winery | 502 Spring Street
When Missouri establishes a law that a winery can't be built within 100 feet of a church, what does any wise person do? Turn a church INTO a winery! Family-owned since 1978, Pirtle Winery brings to Weston multiple one-of-a-kind attributes that make this a must-visit! Saving an 1867 Lutheran Evangelical Church (built by German immigrants) from being destroyed and turned into a dreaded parking lot, the Pirtle family graciously swooped in and turned this historic landmark, just blocks from Main Street, into a charming urban winery. Climb the steep stairs to the sanctuary-turned tasting room, where Pirtle staff are cheerily chatting about their wines and offering up generous servings of their wine varieties. With second generation Pirtle siblings carrying the family business through present-day, after acquiring from their parents (watch the video online, it's got all the familial feels!), Pirtle Winery grows many of its grapes several miles away, and they produce an impressive collection of classic wines, fruit wines, and meads. What is mead, you ask? It's the oldest fermented beverage in history, otherwise known as "honey wine," and Pirtle has four award-winning meads to boast of (think blackberry, raspberry, effervescent, and traditional flavor profiles)! Fruit wines are refreshingly sweet and light (cherry, chocolate cherry, blueberry, and apple). And of course, classic wines at their finest...red, white, rosé, and even port; they've got you covered! Speaking of covered, grab a bottle (or six), AND an armful of wine slushies and head outside to the gorgeous escape underneath the shaded and vibrant vine-covered wine garden!
The Vineyards | 505 Spring Street
Visit The Vineyards Restaurant, located directly across the street from Pirtle Winery, and you'll find one divine menu offering brunch, lunch, and dinner, and entrees like roasted red pepper puree crab cakes, Korean braised short ribs, creamy red potato with rosemary soup, and espresso and port reduction beef tenderloin. Housed, literally, in a historic cottage, dine in one of four cozy rooms day or night, and enjoy a candlelight dinner on weekend evenings (including Thursday). Meander down the tight staircase to where the kitchen is located and you'll get a glimpse into where this fresh farm-to-table establishment perfectly prepares each patron's selections; proceed to exiting out the back door to the ivy-lined patio that is both a stone's throw to Pirtle Winery and Weston Brewing Co and offers up live music, weather permitting. It goes without saying that The Vineyards Restaurant serves up a refined wine list, inclusive of, of course, Pirtle Winery varieties and ingredients for food and beverage sourced from local farmers. For Sunday, get on board with their FUNDAY drinks like Bellinis and Poinsettias (my choice!), and find yourself chatting with the warm and talented staff who complete this wonderful experience!
Holladay Distillery | 1 McCormick Lane
I am always surprised when I talk to KC natives who have never been to Weston before, and more specifically Holladay Distillery, one of THE original 5 Bourbon Distilleries in the United States. I have been there on several occasions (with the Bourbon Night Tour still on my bucket list!), and it is one of my favorite places outside of the city!
Holladay Distillery, formerly known as McCormick Distilling Co., was founded in 1856 by a wildly successful entrepreneur by the name of Ben Holladay. It all began with the discovery of limestone springs (also prominent in Kentucky, of course) by some no-namers who went by Lewis and Clark (nice guys, no doubt). 160 years of evolving directions later, Holladay expanded its brands in 1993 to include spirits like 360 Vodka and Broker's Gin, and in 2016, they gloriously started distilling "real Missouri bourbon" again from the SAME, original 1800s recipe. Brilliant!
Even before Spring and Summer were in bloom, Holladay's nationally registered historic grounds were impressive, and it is a literal breath of fresh air no matter what time of year you visit. Holladay Distillery offers daily tours for a whopping $10 exposing you to the world of bourbon distilling, barrel aging, bottling and labeling, and you will literally be able to taste and smell the early fermentation stages. Tour the gorgeous property from bottom to top learning about the history of Missouri bourbon from 1856, sample as many liquors as you want (a few for free and a whopping $.25 for each additional sample), and drink your way through the gift shop from the interior bar or outside patio overlooking the hillside pastures. Our house has become stocked with spirits that Holladay distributes because the options are fantastic. A few favorites and a few of our most recent discoveries include Five Farms Irish Cream (SHOW STOPPER!), 360 Glazed Donut and Double Chocolate Vodka (#sugaraddicts), Butter Scotch Triple Crown Whiskey, Broker's Gin (topped with the tiniest bowler hat there ever was), and for the fearless, grab a jug of White Dog Moonshine (#hairofthedog perhaps?). This is an absolute must for your Weston staycation!
Cactus Creek | 400 Main Street
"The best damn boutique west of the Mississippi;" a marvelous tagline that sums up the spirit of this Weston shop; new goods, vintage decor, and a beer cellar to complete this Wild West experience! Owner Fancy T. Smith and her team craft a collection of apparel, home decorations, jewelry, and antiques that represent this Midwestern region, with one of a kind pieces and local Kansas and Missouri flair to show off your home-state pride. Turquoise jewelry, cowhide rugs, vintage paintings, sari blankets, trucker hats, tribal throw pillows, and a whole slew of sassy and FUN gifts make this Main Street stomping ground a great place to start your shopping excursion. But what is shopping without throwing back some boozy beverages and board games? Head on downstairs to the uber-cool and rustic Beer Cellar, and catch the day's game on TV while ordering craft beer, wine, as well as non-alcoholic beverages to chill out over a mean game of Chess. Here you'll always find something unique to buy, or some fun and empowering quotes to boost your spirits and get you living your best life!
Noah’s Cupboard | 521 Main Street #A
The newest kid on the block is small, beautiful, heart-warming, and far too polished to actually be a mere couple months old; so no, I am not talking about a tiny human, but rather Noah's Cupboard on Weston's Main Street (oh and by the way, it is actually named after Chef Nick and wife Andrea's adorable 18-month-old son!). But in the scheme of restaurants, this little one has a bold personality to boast about. With a mere 18 seats, an open kitchen, and a scheduling attention span of Friday and Saturday nights from 5 - 9 (reservations, please!), Chef Nick single-handedly creates dishes that seemingly jumped out of an art book. And let me rattle off some sample plates from our Saturday night experience for your enjoyment: Marinated Olives, Pork and Black Bean Tostada with Avocado and Pickled Red Onion, Pork Belly with organic Polenta and Poached Chicken Egg, and Blueberry Coconut Panna Cotta for the final course, all complemented with some medium-bodied red wine that left us in love. "Food that feeds your soul and stimulates your mind" is Chef Nick's mission.
Weston Wine Co | 540 Main Street
Weekends are for wine...(okay every day is for wine)...and any trip to Weston demands a visit to Weston Wine Company! Perched above Weston's downtown with an end-to-end Main Street view, Weston Wine Co is the perfect spot to unwind and/or celebrate in a colorful and festive environment! Perfect for girlfriends, bachelorettes, or birthday parties, this wine bar serves up seven house wines by the bottle or glass, or for the snackers out there, opt for wines paired with cheese bites for savory, and mini cupcakes for your sweet temptations. Alternatively, check out their latest events happenings to join in on themes, like "Parks & Rec Weekend," with wines paired with mini gourmet waffles! The incredibly friendly team have created a wine destination that allows patrons to sit bar-side while getting to know the local hosts, grab a table for four to drink and dine in a more traditional style, or head to the outdoor patio to soak up the sights and sounds of urban Weston. Last but not least, don't miss out on a good photo prop opp and 'gram your day/night away with those closest to you! This place DEF knows how to have fun, live it up, and treat their guests with some good humor, flavor, and FUN!!
The Coal House Saloon | 201 Welt Street
Next up is one of my favorite spots around town to grab a cocktail with one of the most eclectic and noteworthy environments you'll come across! Walk past the end of Main Street, over the river and through the woods (okay actually the river dried up YEARS ago, but the property sits atop what once was the Missouri River), and you'll pass a charming wood chapel, a trail of recognizably salvaged items, and you'll then stumble upon The Coal House Lodge & Saloon. The owners took an old coal elevator and turned this one-of-a-kind establishment into a one-bedroom log cabin B&B with an adjoining outside bar and architectural salvage; shop, sleep, sip...they've got you covered! Jeff's Architectural Salvage is a unique find, perfect for artists and decorators with a knack for repurposing cool stuff. Once you're done shopping, sit bar-side in one of the vintage barber chairs, at a four top next to a Gilligan's island-like boat, or in the backseat of a VW bug (no, really) and you'll get firsthand bartending by owner Jeff, who specializes in some delicious...and, ahem, STRONG cocktails served in perfectly fitting mason jars. Just use caution when renting a vintage bike named Kermit, that the booze hasn't hit you too hard. This bar is simply a GEM when it comes to getting a taste of Weston's character, one NOT to miss!!