It's no news that restaurateur Celina Tio - the chef and owner of Julian restaurant in Brookside - has also been running the lunch-only Kansas City Cafe at 1532 Grand for several months. What is news is what she wants to do with the two-story brick building when her deal to purchase the building closes in March.
Tio's proposed restaurant for the first-floor space is to be called Collection - a name with at least two meanings for Tio. A graduate of the Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a Quaker boarding school, Tio has fond memories of a tradition at the 214-year-old school: "Each morning, everyone would gather in the Collection Room to hear announcements from students and faculty," Tio says.
Her new restaurant, Collection, will also be a gathering place, Tio hopes, as well as a venue for serving dishes from her extensive collection of recipes. When the restaurant opens, ideally in mid-April, Tio will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
"We will be open for dinner on nights that there is a major event at the Sprint Center or the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts," Tio says. "On those nights, we'll serve from the dinner menu from 5 to 9 p.m."
Another tribute to her childhood school will be a late-night saloon and snack venue called the Belfrey (at the Westtown School, it was a campus hangout) located in the back of the building with a seperate entrance on 16th Street. Tio calls the space a tavern and says she'll be serving her own house-brewed beer and a limited menu of "snacky things to share" - ranging from a baked potato with creme fraiche to a deviled egg salad crostini to burgers, ribs and baked rigatoni with house-made sausage - from 3 p.m. to midnight.