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May 14, 2012 | 6:03 p.m. CST
We've finally hit the time of year when we can consistently embrace those warm days and evenings. These Columbia restaurants offer room to eat and relax while basking in the sun or enjoying one anothers’ company in the moonlight.
Where: 10 Hitt Street
When: 6:30 am to 8 p.m.
Cost: $2.50 to $9
Spot a hipster or two on the patio of Uprise Bakery and Ragtag Cinema. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and spicy focaccia outside, taking advantage of their free Wi-Fi. Uprise Bakery also offers unique beers and a collection of board games. It’s the perfect place to unwind or engage in a revolutionary discussion about film. You can also grab a board game from their collection.
Where: 7 N. Sixth Street
When: Monday through Saturday 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., closed Sundays
Cost: $6 to $15
The patio at McNally’s is one of the best things about the bar and restaurant. It is surrounded by red brick and wrought iron fencing. There is an exit to the street from the enclosed side patio. The rustic-looking ceiling fans help keep the patio cool in the warmer months. WiseGuys Pizza, next door, will also deliver you a pizza while you’re on the patio.
Where: 304 S. Ninth St., Suite 100
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 to 1 a.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Cost: $5.59-7.99 for entrées
Pouring sunshine covers the deck while people free from work or class can finally lounge. The laid-back atmosphere and infamous “Dollar Burgs” drive cheap diners in by the throngs for Sunday Fundays. Kick back with a brew or cocktail from a stacked drink menu, and take a gander at the city below. Diners at Big 12, as longtime customers call it, can muse at the freshmen slugging off to class or the college students trucking back to campus at night.
Where: 1109 E. Broadway
When: Willie’s: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight; The Field House: Tuesday through Saturday, 9 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Cost: $5.99-7.99 for sandwiches; $6.99-7.99 for burgers
A prime location to spy on passersby, this street-level patio lets you critique shoppers’ fashions or observe bar-goers’ late-night commotions. (Think those waiting in line at El Rancho after drinking one too many.) Take it all in while munching on Willie’s hot wings and chugging down Boulevard pints. The mostly covered space facing Broadway is a popular Wednesday night go-to for those looking to throw down some Lincolns on penny pitcher specials.
Where: 410 S. Ninth St.
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight
Cost: $7-12 for entrées
Cash in on buy-one-get-one-free appetizers during happy hour (Sorry, not on Saturday) while staring out at MU’s campus. Tasty toasted ravioli and ooey-gooey spinach-and-artichoke dip entice diners to this friendly patio, which is two-thirds covered. For those sick of the same old Bud Light routine, try throwing back a Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel, a dark wheat German beer. Good luck trying to pronounce it to the waiter, though. Pointing might be required.
Where: 402 E. Broadway
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Cost: $6-20 for entrées; $5-12 for pizzas
No worries about being hit with hollering spittle from fans in the stands here. For those who want to watch the game in peace, Shiloh offers a relaxed environment to kick back with friends and enjoy a pint while cheering on a favorite team. The two plasma TVs mounted on the side of the building typically show Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals or MU games.
Where: 227 S. Sixth St.
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; closed Sundays
Cost: $6-8 for appetizers; $7-9 sandwiches
The roar of fans on game day resounds from the patio at Bengals. At this casual hangout, which holds approximately 300 people, fans can swig beer and liquor and scrutinize every play of each game. Devour 99-cent tacos from 5 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, or sip the ever-changing drink specials — game day or no game day. Five outdoor TVs bring an at-the-game atmosphere to the patio, and misters under the tent keep it cool even when the game heats up.
Where: 124 S. Ninth St.
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: $6.50 for sandwiches
This city chic patio features multi-leveled decks. The open-air top tier captivates people with its downtown view, especially at sunset. Glass window panels and dark couches create the illusion of ultra urban living. People can snack on popular items such as baked potatoes and deli sandwiches in the sun or shade of the middle level. Schmooze and booze at the Cheshire Bar on the lowest level. This patio packs in hundreds of people on its three levels, so invite friends, friends of friends and anyone else walking by.
Where: 811 E. Walnut St.
When: Monday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.,Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $10 to $32 for entrées
With two huge gazebos, avoiding that crazy uncle or aunt at large get-togethers is not only possible but also easy. However, the patio isn’t only good for wedding rehearsal dinners or grad parties. The place is a splurge, but the new location, replacing Boone Tavern, is worth checking out.
Where: 115 S. Fifth St.
When: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 to 1 a.m.
Cost: $7.49-16.99 for entrées
Surrounded by shrubbery and vines tangled in fencing, this patio creates a great escape after a busy day. Kick back and unwind with a Flat Branch brew. Beer options include regulars such as Honey Wheat and seasonal specialties such as Hefeweizen in the summer. Beers cost $4 for an 18-ounce draught or $3.25 during happy hour.
Where: 131 S. Tenth St.
When: Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m.
Cost: $15-40 for entrées
Couples can cuddle up in the corners of this downtown location’s petite patio, which holds up to 50 diners. The candlelight exudes Lady and the Tramp romance, but pushing a meatball with your nose isn’t recommended. Also, if the news calls for rain, diners need not refrain — this white tablecloth restaurant houses a completely covered and heated patio, so daters can still enjoy a romantic dining experience. The fare can be expensive, but the tantalizing seafood and steak are hard to resist.
Where: 505 Cherry St.
When: Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner: Monday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $8-15 for lunch entrées; $23-29 for dinner entrées
Vine-covered iron gates and wooden tables contribute to a wine-garden feel. The patio accommodates up to 30 daters who crave the bistro’s blend of classic and eclectic cuisine. The Wine Cellar & Bistro keeps more than 1,000 bottles of wine in stock, which range from $10 to $425, to provide variety for both tight and superfluous budgets. If vino isn’t your thing, try a freshly squeezed orange margarita — but take it easy on the tequila if it’s a first date.
Where: 29 S. Tenth St.
When: Monday through Saturday, 11 to 1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Cost: $2.99-7.99 for appetizers; $6.99-8.99 for sandwiches and burgers
Harpo’s rooftop Skyybar, which at max fits 175 people, packs music aficionados into tables to kick back while local bands play hit covers and original songs. Never miss a beat with the additional bar up top.
Where: 212 E. Green Meadows Road
When: Monday through Saturday: 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sunday: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Cost: Burgers from $3 to $6, a pound of wings for $7, and pizza from $8 to $19
If you want a drink on the south side of town, Taphouse is a good place to meet your friends. Its covered patio is almost the size of the bar itself, and there is always a game on the TVs outside. Tuesdays are flip nights, where a heads-up flip of a coin means your bar tab is au gratis. Patrons control the jukebox at Taphouse by requesting songs from their phones with an app called Touch Tunes.
Where: 3802 Buttonwood Drive
When: Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $9 to $13 for entree
Eat your stir-fry outside on HuHot’s elusive patio, only open on the nicest days of the year. What does this mean? A certain temperature? It was just an observation. I ate there the other day and noticed their patio open for the first time I could remember. As one of the tastiest Asian restaurants in town, eating on the patio is the cherry on top of the unique dining experience.
Where: 3804 Buttonwood Drive
When: Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $7 to $15
Everyone knows that barbecue was born to be eaten outside. Tucked away in a shopping center off Nifong is a joint that boasts some of the best barbecue in Columbia. Its spacious patio gives you room to pig out and get messy. At night, they light the tiki torches that line the space covered with picnic tables and several choices of BBQ sauce. The smell coming from the smoker makes the anticipation for a sweet and tangy pulled pork sandwich (the Sloppy Buck), deep fried corn on the cob and an ice-cold beer that much more grueling.
Where: 901 E. Nifong
When: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Cost: $2 to $13
What’s better than sipping a margarita in the sunshine? The front patio at El Maguey has the same atmosphere as inside — the mariachi, the chips and salsa — but patrons can enjoy the fleeting beautiful weather of spring.
Where: 3910 Peachtree Drive
When: Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: $10-16 for entrées
Patios and beer go hand in hand. If you’re aching for a pint from across the pond, 44 Stone Public House features different beers and fare from the British Isles. Bottles of Hobgoblin and draughts of ESB and Belhaven Twisted Thistle drown any notion of reaching for a Miller Lite. Although 44 Stone debuted in February, the Welsh rarebit, cheesy pretzel bread topped with caramelized onion white cheddar ale sauce, is attracting attention.
Where: 3700 Monterey Drive
When: Monday through Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Cost:$4.95-6.95 for appetizers, $7.45 for all sandwiches and $6-12.50 for pizzas
Springtime screams outdoor fun. Two sand volleyball courts, three washers pits and casual patio furniture add a relaxed, day-at-the-beach feel to the Deuce. If you can’t handle intense spiking on court, take it easy with a game of bocce ball. Two new courts will be open for more al fresco amusement once the weather hits perfect bocce-playing conditions. Athletes can recharge after a sand volleyball workout with a variety of fare including wings, pizza and sandwiches.
Where: 3915 S. Providence Road
When: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Cost: $8.99-25.99 for entrées
Small vibrant flowers and tall green shrubbery create a barrier between this elegant patio and the not-so-scenic parking lot behind it. Hidden behind lush vegetation, diners can pop the cork on a bottle of wine and dig into southern European dishes. Kill time between apps and entrées with some friendly competition on the bocce ball court.
Where: 2541 Broadway Bluffs Drive
When: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $3-10 for small plates; $9-25 for entrées
A cool breeze, musical delicacies of local artists and one large pitcher of Houlihan’s Long Island ice teas create a blissful night. Tiny twinkling lights line the trellis on one side of the patio, and yellow umbrellas adorn the other. In past summers, a jazz quartet resonated as background music, but local bands such as Chump Change converted the patio to a party when happy hour begins. Starting around June, live music will blast once again on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Houlihan’s might not be in the heart of downtown, but the concert atmosphere justifies the drive.
Where: 14020 W. Highway BB, Rocheport
When:Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Blufftop Bistro: $7-11 for lunch entrées; $17-28 for dinner entrées; A-Frame,: $6 for sandwiches
Escape to the serene scene of Les Bourgeois Vineyards, which is 15 minutes west of Columbia, to partake in more sophisticated nosh. At the Blufftop Bistro, enjoy palatable wine and a picturesque view of the Missouri River. For a cold sandwich or romantic picnic, lovebirds can saunter down to the A-Frame decks. This patio offers an equally alluring view of the river for any couple who wants a secluded evening.