Monday, June 2, 2014

Simply Reinspired is a real sister act

Simply Reinspired, in Olathe, is a real sister act.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM


click to enlarge Two sisters, Janice Mann-Harris, left, and Debbie Harris operate a breakfast and lunch cafe in Olathe called Simply Reinspired.
  • Two sisters, Janice Mann-Harris, left, and Debbie Harris operate a breakfast and lunch cafe in Olathe called Simply Reinspired.

A regular Fast Pitch reader called me last week to rave about a restaurant she had discovered in Olathe. I kept asking the woman to repeat the name of the venue because it just wasn't resonating with me.

"It's called Simply Reinspired," she said. "It's in an old house near the courthouse."

By the time I actually drove up to the combination cafe and home-decor shop last Sunday, I had forgotten the name of the place and was calling it "Simply Reincarnated," "Spring Awakening," "Simple and Inspired" and God only knows what else. But once I saw the sign in front of the 100-year-old former home, I instantly committed it to memory. Simply Reinspired at 108 West Cedar.

The name came, almost in a dream, to Janice Mann-Harris while she and her sister, Debbie Mann, were planning their new business last year. She had fallen asleep with the television on and when she awoke, there was a commercial for a product with the word inspired in the title.
click to enlarge This 100-year-old house in downtown Olathe has been a private home, law offices and now a combination shop and cafe.
  • This 100-year-old house in downtown Olathe has been a private home, law offices and now a combination shop and cafe.

"We call it Simply Reinspired," Debbie Mann says, "because most of our retail items are repurposed from other uses, including furnishings and jewelry. And it's a new career for both of us."

Both sisters operated their own cleaning-service companies until opening their shop - the 40-seat cafe came a month later - last September. Because the rambling old home on Cedar Street is so close to the Olathe courthouse, the lunch business for Simply Reinspired took off immediately. 

"It took off much faster than we thought it would," Debbie Mann says. "It forced us to make the restaurant our priority. We'll build up the retail business later, but right now, we're a very busy cafe."

Mann and Harris-Mann - who both have restaurant experience - serve breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Breakfast dishes include a turkey bacon-egg-and-cheese croissant sandwich, hot oatmeal with cream and brown sugar, French toast and pancakes. The lunch menu is a selection of salads, soups and sandwiches priced between $7 and $9.

Simply Reinspired recently introduced a once-a-month Sunday buffet brunch (served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Sunday of every month). Yesterday's brunch featured some of the lightest, flakiest biscuits I've ever tasted with two kinds of cream gravy (a meatless version and another one with sausage), potato casserole, French toast and pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh vegetables and eggs. The $15 price included coffee and dessert: two kinds of house-made cheesecakes baked by Janice Mann-Harris' husband, Stetson Harris, and a moist carrot cake created by local baker Bob Byrnes.

Simply Reinspired also serves a buffet-style "family dinner" every Thursday night from 5 to 8 p.m. (reservations are recommended); Debbie Mann says last week's supper, priced at $15, offered fried chicken, pasta, mashed potatoes, vegetables and desserts. The cafe does not serve liquor, but Mann says some dinner guests bring their own wine.

For reservations or more information about Simply Reinspired, call 913-768-1177.

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