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Dustin Racen was just like any other dude, talking about opening a bar with a buddy. Except that he and Chadwick Veach bought the vacated storefront at 1813 Grand and opened the Tank Room. Cool things from a sweet guy with a soft side. Ask him his guilty pleasure, and he'll tell you that he likes to watch Disney movies. Ask him about his prized possession, and he'll tell you about his great-grandfather's baby grand piano. Ask him out, and he might just say yes.
Occupation: President of Fountain Town Media and co-owner of the Tank Room
Relationship status: Single
What's your go-to drink? Boulevard Wheat for lunch, Whiskey Coke at night, Coors Light with the boys
Andre's or Elbow? Elbow for sure! I used to work in California for my aunt and uncle, who owned a fine-chocolate shop very similar to Christopher Elbow, and really came to love the artistry involved in making chocolates like that. Besides, Elbow is local. I have bought quite a few chocolates from there in my day.
What's your guiltiest entertainment pleasure? Probably some of the older Disney movies. I love The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, and The Fox and the Hound. In fact, I have watched all three of those in the last month.
What's the last thing that made you cry? I don't remember specifically, but I am sure it was a movie I watched. I can definitely get choked up over a sad movie.
What's on your nightstand? Lamp, clock, phone charger, home protection
What's the coolest thing in your home? Hmm, I think it would have to be my great-grandfather's baby grand piano. It is an early 1900s Chickering that he got when he was pretty young and has been passed through the family.
What are you most vain about? Probably shoes and jackets. I am sure I own too many of both.
What physical feature are you a sucker for? Piercing eyes are always something that will catch me off-guard. Attitude goes a long way, too, in making physical features pop. Confidence is sexy, shyness can be cute, etc.
Who's on your crush list? Well, if we are speaking about celebrity crushes, I definitely have to go with Natalie Portman. Beyond her obvious physical attractiveness, I really like the roles she seems to put herself in, and I feel like that gives insight into the kind of person she is ... although, that assumption could be way off-base.
What's the best way for someone to hit on you? Directly, I suppose.
The date I want: The company makes the date. It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing. If there is no connection, it can be awkward for everyone. So I guess a date with good company is the best place to start. If that's there, the rest will be fine.
The date I usually end up on: I guess I don't date enough to have one that sticks in my mind as one I usually end up on.
What's your foolproof date restaurant? If she's cool with Grinders, I'm cool with her.
If you want to impress me, feed me: Anything homemade.
What's your deal breaker? Even though I don't speak about them too much, I have pretty strong political, philosophical and religious views. If someone's worldview is drastically different than mine, it doesn't mean it's wrong, but we would probably not last too long.
Heartbreaker or heartbroken? Hasn't everyone been both?
Anna Louise Hoard
Like professional singers far and wide, Anna Louise Hoard won't do without tea. Unlike your average diva, though, she doesn't skimp on the spice on a big night. "I need pho," she says. "I like hot, spicy soup before a performance." She's eating a lot of it lately because her gig calendar is full and getting fuller. It's her first season with the Kansas City Chorale, which means traveling to Arizona and Canada and a recording session, and she's part of the new-music-intensive Black House Collective, among other ensembles. "I have to schedule two weeks out with friends," she says. Totally worth the wait.
Occupation: Mezzo-soprano and collaborator-at-large
Relationship status: Single
What's your go-to drink? This winter has been perfect for hot toddies at home. I make them with rye whiskey, maple syrup, and a pao flower tisane from Kansas City's own Shang Tea. I'll add a grapefruit wedge if I'm feeling fancy.
Andre's or Elbow? I'm sorry, what did you say? I was distracted by this Manos Chocolates citrus-hibiscus bar.
What's your guiltiest entertainment pleasure? Sci-fi as dreamed up by Joss Whedon.
Last Halloween, I dressed up as: Wednesday Addams.
What's the last thing that made you cry? A prison documentary
What's on your nightstand? Aromatic houseplants
What's the coolest thing in your home? A twisty, fuzzy, Seussian purple houseplant
What are you most vain about? My houseplants
What's your workout? I walk a lot, and then I stretch, and sometimes I go dancing.
What physical feature are you a sucker for? Shoulders!
Who's on your crush list? Jeff Buckley, Sandra Oh, Joyce DiDonato as Bellini's Romeo.
What's the best way for someone to hit on you? Beauty- and justice-oriented innovators get me all Twitter-pated. Be excited about what you do and explain it to me.
What's the lamest pickup line you've ever heard (or used)? "Can I get 50 cents and your phone number?" It half worked.
The date I want: I love a good project. Who wants to build a vermicompost bin or go mushroom hunting or reupholster the antique chaise longue that's been languishing in my basement?
The date I usually end up on: Brunch. I love brunch, too.
What's your foolproof date restaurant? The Farmhouse. For brunch!
If you want to impress me, feed me: Guess.
What's your deal breaker? If a suitor didn't enjoy my family, it would never work out. They are the best.
Heartbreaker or heartbroken? Enough of each, I hope.