As owner and president of Manica Architecture, David Manica and his team design sport and entertainment facilities around the world—including the new Chase Center in San Francisco. “When I travel the world and people ask me ‘why Kansas City?,’ I always say two things: One: It’s not close to anything, but equally close to everything. I can do a day trip to any city in the U.S. Not too many other cities can say that. And two: It’s an easy city to leave, but the best city to come home to. Compared to almost any other place I’ve ever been, it’s cleaner, more colorful, full of variety, the people are still nice, and if you get up early enough you can avoid the crowds.” As if that weren’t enough, Manica also owns The Monarch Bar—a swank sippery in the West Plaza—and he’s poised to open Verdigris Bar in Leawood later this spring. We caught up with the on-the-go Kansas City native (and Kansas School of Architecture grad) to find out his must-have essentials.
Hidden Gem: The Rose Garden at Loose Park when it’s in bloom. We’re lucky the city has been able to curate and maintain that historic garden for us all to enjoy.
Guilty Pleasure: A 90-minute massage. That’s 90 minutes of uninterrupted alone time, plus a backrub? I mean, come on.
Fave Splurge: A Panerai watch. First made for the Italian Navy, their watches have a certain weight to them that is somehow comforting. And I really appreciate their elegant simplicity and styling. They make me happy when I put one on in the morning, and they tell me the time of day. That’s all I want my watches to do.
Fave Scent: I wear Acqua di Parma, Essenza. It feels right for me. My other favorite scent? Our signature scent at The Monarch.
Sweet Treat: For me, it’s the pie at Rye. Pie beats cake—any day of the week.
Hair Salon/Product: The Salon on Main Street. My stylist Shane Hendren is fantastic. Product? Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade. It’s difficult to find, but it tames my hair without being clumpy or sticky.