Last Saturday marked a turning point for the West Bottoms restaurant space formerly known as the R Bar. The current tenant of 1617 Genessee is now Moxie Catering, the 11-year-old catering firm owned by Jill Myers and Wes Gartner (who are engaged, but haven't had time to plan their own wedding yet). The Moxie staff used the long, historic dining hall for a wedding reception. Two more wedding receptions have already been booked for the venue.
But don't write it off as a destination dining spot yet. Wes Gartner says it will reopen as a restaurant in several months. The new venue will not be called the R Bar, he says. "But we're not ready to release the new name yet," Gartner adds.
"We've got to get through the wedding season first," says Gartner, the son of a Topeka caterer, who joined his fiancee's business several years ago; Jill Myers is a former Hallmark designer.
"The new restaurant, when it opens, will not also be a live music venue," Gartner says.
Gartner says he and Myers first leased the space from R Bar owner Joy Jacobs because it was such an untraditional special event hall. "It's funky and has real atmosphere, unlike the usual reception spaces. Many of the brides who have looked at the dining room love it because it is so different."
For information on renting the R Bar, call Wes Gartner at 816-561-0384.