Kansas City's two Blanc Burgers + Bottles locations - on the Country Club Plaza and at Mission Farms - will now be managed by Kansas City-based Leap Hospitality (which currently operates the Jacobson and Futbol Club), according to Michael Werner, the vice president of design and operations for Leap Hospitality.
"We're still working out all the details," Werner says, "but we're already taking an active role."
Blanc Burgers + Bottles was opened by restaurateur Ernesto Peralta in 2008 in a storefront at 419 Westport Road; Peralta later moved the restaurant to the former Pizzeria Uno space on the Country Club Plaza two years later and opened the Leawood location in 2009.
Werner says that Peralta - whose business practices were profiled by Jonathan Bender last December - will continue to be the public face of Blanc Burgers.
"He started the brand and took it to where it is today," Werner says. "But he felt he had taken it as far as he could and turned to us for professional help to take it to the next level."
The professional help includes losing the chef, Jayson Eggers, who had been overseeing the two Blanc restaurants. Eggers will move, at the end of this month, to the Jacobson, replacing chef John C. Smith. Werner says Smith has moved to "another restaurant in Johnson County."
Werner says Eggers will not be making any immediate changes to the menu at the Jacobson (which was a collaboration between Smith and Werner).
"We'll be working together on the fall/winter menu that will come out at the end of October," Werner says. "Of course, he'll want to put his own stamp on the menu, but I think the changes will be very subtle at first. We know Jayson's skill set and are pleased he's coming onboard."
And what about the Blanc menu?
"We won't be making any changes coming out of the gate," Werner says. "We're still in the process of working out the details of the deal. I can say that at first, we'll be focusing on operational efficiencies and training. We'll look at the menu later, although Jayson Eggers will still be involved in menu development. We'll be promoting a new chef for Blanc from within the organization."