In his 22 years as an architect, David Manica has worked on projects all over the world.
Now he’s not only the designer but the owner of The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge, a high-end cocktail bar opening this summer of the first floor of the Plaza Vista at 4840 Roanoke Parkway.
“I’m the owner and the guy who has to pay for it,” he said. “But I did not want to cut any corners as opposed to working with someone else on a budget.”
Manica, president and owner of Kansas City’s Manica Architecture, has a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Kansas.
He spent 13 years at HOK Sport Venue + Event, now known as Populous, where he worked on such projects as the Houston Toyota Center and the new Wembley Stadium in London. He opened Manica Architecture in 2007 and has since worked on such projects as the VTB Arena Park in Moscow.
During his international travels, he would visit upscale bars looking for inspiration in both design and operation. A year ago, he started planning a bar of his own, naming it after the monarch butterfly.
“I want the bar to be timeless, classic and sophisticated and also have a presence that is unique to Kansas City,” he said.
The Monarch Bar will have a signature butterfly chandelier, designed by Manica and handcrafted by students at the Kansas City Art Institute — 1,500 clear butterflies floating over the central main bar for a “wow moment.” Color-changing LED lighting will give the butterflies “movement” at night. He also will hire a local artist to do a mural on the back wall of the bar.
The 3,487-square-foot main bar area, which will seat 78 people, will have a gas fireplace flanked by booth seating, wide-plank wood floors in a herringbone pattern, a central bar of white marble, and a private lounge seating 22 people. It also will have a 935-square-foot glass-covered patio seating 63 people.
The menu will include specialty cocktails and small plates.