The former Mi Cocina space on the Country Club Plaza has been leased to a partnership group that includes Victor Esquada and Ivan Marquez (proprietors of the Northland's Ixtapa and Olathe's Frida's Contemporary Mexican restaurants) and 38-year-old Chris Ridler, owner of the combination restaurant and watering hole Sol Cantina, located in midtown's "Martini Corner" district.
The Kansas City Star has reported that these partners plan to create a concept similar to Frida's at the Plaza location. But Ridler says that's not exactly right.
"This will be a completely new concept," says Ridler, sitting in the sunny dining room of Sol Cantina. "The new space will be a casual but sophisticated gathering space. We feel it will become a social destination spot, a place where you go to meet friends or go meet soon-to-be friends."
The yet-unnamed restaurant will open, says Ridler, in late spring. Until then, the Country Club Plaza remains without a Mexican restaurant.
In the 1980s, the former Annie's Santa Fe was that era's combination of Tex-Mex cantina and popular social destination spot; that high-profile location, last occupied by Blonde, remains empty. More recently, Baja 600 was the Mexican-flavored social destination; the enclosed patio stayed busy right up until the venue closed last July.