When Troost Avenue had a streetcar line, in the first half of the last
century, it had dozens of small, independently owned restaurants, cafes and cafeterias. Now, if you don't count the fast-food outlets, the pickings for any dining venue are pretty spartan. And recently, another culinary entrepreneur on the city's historic dividing line has called it quits: Ubuntu Cafe
at 4327 Troost closed a few weeks ago.
Ubuntu Cafe — ubuntu
is Swahili for "humanity to others" — was a carry-out cafe offering a variety of home-style meals and side dishes operated by cook Leland Thomas and his mother, Ann Thomas. It was open for only four months.
"The building was sold," Leland Thomas says, "and the new owners didn't want us to stay on."
Leland Thomas may have left Troost, but not the restaurant business. He's currently working for another family member, Charles Henderson, who hosted an opening-night shindig last Saturday for his new Kansas City, Kansas, restaurant called 4th Down Grill, at 6607 Parallel Parkway. The restaurant is closed on Mondays but will be open tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The 4th Down Grill will sell a variety of hot sandwiches (burgers, pork chops and Philly cheesesteaks), cold sandwiches (roast beef, ham, turkey) and salads; a Soul Food Sunday, featuring traditional Southern dishes, will be offered on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.
The other weekly hours of the 4th Down Grill are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.