Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Neighbor's Cafe in Lee's Summit closes on Sunday

Posted by on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Lee's Summit's Neighbor's Cafe leaves the neighborhood on Sunday.
  • Lee's Summit's Neighbor's Cafe leaves the neighborhood on Sunday.

Sunday will be the last day of business for Neighbor's Cafe, the popular family-style diner at 104 S.E. Third Street in downtown Lee's Summit. The Pitch named the venue "Best Diner" in 2009.

But don't blame the economy for this closing, says co-owner Phil Roberts. Blame the IRS.

When The Pitch honored the diner two years ago, we couldn't help but note that it was impossible not to love any restaurant that gave the first cinnamon roll free. (Each additional roll was 50 cents.)

Another reason to love Neighbors?



Home-style fried cookin' has never gone out of style in this kitchen, which puts out an impressive whole fried catfish, country-fried steak and a fried pork chop. Neighbor's Café still serves liver and onions (which it claims are "the best in town") and walleye fried, grilled or Cajun-style. Dinners come with a choice of potato, vegetable, apple sauce or fresh fruit, and a hot roll, biscuit or cornbread.
There has been some kind of family-owner diner in this location for the last half-century, since Mildred and Jasper Brown opened Brown's Steakhouse in 1951. Phil Roberts and his son Don purchased the business in 2000 and ran the restaurant with their wives. Don Roberts died last October.

"Business is still very good here," says Phil Roberts, "but Don had some tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service. They're forcing us to close."

The restaurant will serve its last meal at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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