Sean Malto’s Day Off in Kansas City Is a Skater’s Dream
The pro-skateboarder is dedicated to his tight knit KCMO community.
By Annie Harrigan and Sean Malto
Published on 11/3/2022 at 1:45 PM
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Sean Malto is a professional skateboarder originally from Kansas City, Kansas. He started skating 10-years-old and when he was 18, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he built his name as a pillar in the skating world. Despite being far away from the heart of the skate industry, Malto worked meticulously to rise in the skate world, making his name known beyond the Midwest. After a serious ankle injury forced him off the professional skating circuit for nearly three years, Malto came back to skating just as dedicated and skilled as when he first started. Today, the 33-year-old Malto is sponsored by brands like Girl Skateboards, Nike SB, Mountain Dew, and while he doesn’t live in KCMO anymore, he continues to return to his hometown to share his love of skateboarding with his community.
I start my day in Kansas City off with a cold brew with a splash of oat milk from Oddly Correct, my favorite local coffee shop. They have this incredible recycling program where all their to-go drinks come in a glass jar and the next time you come, you just bring it back. The space itself is also beautiful. They recently moved to a redone house and filled it with really cool art. It has the perfect home feel to it. It’s clean and has nice hardwood floors but it’s not overly done up. Although I don’t really come here to sit at my computer and get work done – I’m usually just in and out – it’s the perfect place to start my day.
After Oddly Correct, one of my favorite spots to sit down and grab a meal is Arther Bryant’s, an old school Kansas City barbecue joint. The restaurant is just outside the city and has a bit of an unpolished feel to it. When you walk in, you can tell it’s been around for a very long time. It’s not fancy by any means, which adds to the character of the place. They give you two pieces of bread on some wax paper and a tray and they just pile loads of meat and sauce on top of it all. They’ve got the best sauce. My personal favorite things to order are the burnt ends and the brisket. I think Kansas City has the best barbecue in the world. There is so much history behind the food here and Arthur Bryant’s truly embodies it all. And if you need any more proof of how good it is, Arthur Bryant’s is Obama’s barbecue choice when he’s in town, and while I’ve never personally seen him there, I still think it’s pretty sick that this is where he goes.
Oddly Correct | Photo Courtesy of Oddly Correct
“It has the perfect home feel to it. It’s clean and has nice hardwood floors but it’s not overly done up... it’s the perfect place to start my day.”
One of my favorite things about Kansas City is seeing how the skate scene here has been really growing. In August, for example, Mountain Dew and I hosted an “Unlock the Spot” event here in KCMO. We invited local children from disadvantaged communities to come get some free gear and take free lessons with some more experienced skaters. We did trick competitions and gave out sneakers, boards, and cash prizes too. The event happened at my favorite place to skate in the city, the Slabs. The Slabs are exactly what they sound like — giant slabs of concrete stacked on top of each other. It’s not a skatepark, it’s a skate spot, meaning it wasn’t meant for skating but has become a place where local skaters do so anyway. Because of all the steps, flat stretches, and blocks of concrete, there are options for people with different levels of skating experience to skate.
The event is also being sponsored by Escapist Skate Shop. The shop was first established in 2000 by local KC skateboarders and has since moved around to a few locations. We’ve been at our current location for about ten years now and it has really been a pillar for the skate community. There’s all types of gear for people to choose from. There’s art on the walls and a gathering space in the shop where we host all types of events. Escapist has also been doing a great job of bringing in professional skaters from all over and doing demos to engage the skate community. The skate scene here is much smaller and not as spread out as those in LA or New York. Because of that, the skate community here is really tight knit and although we all do our own thing and there are several different shops, we all like to come together to achieve certain goals for our community. It’s a really special thing.
Escapist Skate Shop | Photo by Aaron Smith
“... the skate community here is really tight knit and although we all do our own thing and there are several different shops, we all like to come together to achieve certain goals for our community. It’s a really special thing.”
After working up an appetite skating, I like to hit Tiki Taco for dinner. Tiki Taco is a newer taco place owned by the Wade brothers, who do a lot of really cool stuff around town. They host events for the community and they do a lot of production work too. They’re these two guys who are cool local KC people who have had the opportunity to do cool work all over the world and still return back to KCMO. Tiki Taco is one of their new restaurants and it’s just a cool vibe. People don’t come to Kansas City for Mexican food so for them to build a really good taco shop with nice margaritas is incredible. Like Arthur Bryant’s and Oddly Correct, Tiki Taco isn’t fancy at all. You can just go in with your friends, get a few tacos, some drinks, watch sports on their TVs, and just hang out. Tiki Taco is also great because they really support the local skate community as well. They have a few of my boards up on the walls and the Wade brothers show that they clearly love the scene.
Green Lady Lounge | Photo by Brian Turner
“It’s a super cozy spot and absolutely a KC staple. I’ve been going there for a very long time and the musicians always rotate out so I’ve gotten to hear lots of local jazz musicians. It's the perfect place to bring a few people, have a nightcap, and get engulfed in the music.”
After dinner, I like to end my day at Green Lady Lounge, a little jazz bar in the Crossroads district. Green Lady is a swanky place with red velvet booths, nice drinks, and live music every night. Even though I love jazz music, I don’t know a ton about it — but I do know that Kansas City has a very rich jazz history. There are entire jazz districts here and quite a few jazz bars. Green Lady, however, is one of the cooler ones around. It’s a super cozy spot and absolutely a KC staple. I’ve been going there for a very long time and the musicians always rotate out so I’ve gotten to hear lots of local jazz musicians. It's the perfect place to bring a few people, have a nightcap, and get engulfed in the music. I like bars where you can dress up to visit or just go after a day of skating, and that’s all cool. Green Lady perfectly embodies both ends of that spectrum.
Annie Harrigan is an Editorial Coordinator for Thrillist.com. Find her on Twitter @AnnieAHarrigan.
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4200-4298 Kenwood Ave, Kansas City, MO
405 Southwest Blvd #100, Kansas City, MO
1809 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO