Waldo is known for it’s small specialty shops, restaurants and services. Now thee is anotherunique new place just opened you should know about…Marco Polo Selections. It’s a wine tasting room and event space at 336 W 75th St, a few steps away from the new West Waldo 222 Flats.
I stopped in recently and spoke with co owners Emily Maher and Nate Riley, who have been friends since high school. Emily has been raising a family and ran a personal organizing business; Nate has extensive experience working with restaurant suppliers and wine distributors. One day Nate called Emily saying “I have an idea…..” and Marco Polo Selections was born.
Their tagline is “rare times, rare wines”—and that phrase works on so many levels! The pandemic has reworked the way we think, play and travel—every moment of a “normal” life is a gift so don’t waste it! Explore new places, new foods, new wines..and this is a shop where you can get wines you can’t get anywhere else in the city. Started as an online liquor store, Marco Polo Selections features all “old world wines”, as Nate explained, from small family run vineyards in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Argentina. Wine flights of four varieties are $25, and most bottles range in price from $13-$25. The space is small, intimate yet casual and very friendly. “There’s no pretense or intimidation here” said Nathan. “It’s a big old world out there and we want to help people enjoy it”.
One of the unique features of Marco Polo Selections is you are welcome to bring in your own food: grab some take out from nearby Jovito’s or Waldo Pizza; or have Uber Eats bring you a meal. You can take your time tasting various wines while enjoying dinner! There’s really no other place like this in Kansas City. You can also book Marco Polo Selections for a private event, and they have access to the shaded outdoor courtyard in the back for extra space. Currently the hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm-8pm. Nate explained they were very busy several weeks ago when the mask mandate was dropped and we all thought most of the population would be vaccinated by summer’s end. Now that the mask mandate is back in place, traffic has dropped off some. Still, this is a new, locally owned business and the buzz is spreading. It has a totally different vibe from your usual Waldo bar—a place where you can taste and learn about different wines, have a conversation without shouting and enjoy yourself chatting with friends.
Next time you are looking for something a little different to do–make a visit to Marco Polo Selections at 336 W 75th St. Catch them on Instagram at marcopoloselections.