Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Before Grunauer, there was the Salzberg Haus

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 1:07 PM

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Hearty drinking on the 30th floor

Now that Grunauer -- the Viennese restaurant owned and operated by chef Peter Grunauer and his two children, Nicholas and Elizabeth -- is officially open in the old City Tavern location in the Crossroads, it's a good time to look back at another venue serving Viennese cuisine in the metro. Yes, there was one.

But until last weekend, I sure didn't know that. I attended the annual Postcard Show & Sale at the Lenexa Community Center a couple of days ago and found some great vintage stuff, including the color postcard from the 1970s, pictured above, of the Salzberg Haus. I wonder whether any Fat City readers recall eating there.


In the 1970s, during an earlier move to revive downtown Kansas City as an entertainment destination spot, the top floor of the Commerce Tower at 911 Main Street was turned into a variety of small international dining rooms. Paddy's Pub served Irish food and brews, Guiseppe's Roof offered Italian fare, Genghis Khan had a Mongolian motif and Tour d'Argent was a stylish French bistro. The fifth restaurant in the group was Salzberg Haus, described on the postcard as "a Viennese rathskeller thirty floors above the city in Commerce Tower. Hearty drinking and dining in the old world Austrian manner."

All the restaurants were gone by the mid-1980s. I think the P&L District should bring them all back.

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Where was this pretty dining room?
I also found another treasure for my collection: a 1960s full-color postcard of a dining room that was in Kansas City's fanciest restaurant in another place and time. Author and chef (and former restaurateur) Lou Jane Temple started her culinary career working as a server in this dining room. Any guesses as to which restaurant it was?

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