The ill-fated midtown restaurant at 5031 Main known - for a year, anyway - as the Beacon is being considered as a future site for the Johnson County-based Nick & Jake's restaurant. (The second Nick & Jake's is in Parkville.) Nick & Jake's owners, Kevin Timmons and Doug Watkins, reportedly have been looking at the venue, which has sat empty since June, as a south Plaza outpost for their successful suburban dining concept.
A representative for Timmons and Watkins said their response to the rumor is, for the moment, "No comment."
Before the Beacon failed, the building, erected in the 1920s to house a dry-cleaning operation, was occupied by Jack Gage American Tavern, the Double Dragon Chinese Restaurant, and several other bars and restaurants.
"What's the big deal about cronuts?" one of my co-workers asked. "Every time I turn on my computer, I find something about cronuts."
In Kansas City, the conversation about cronuts - a combination croissant and fried doughnut that has become nothing short of a craze in New York City - is mostly a rant about not being able to find them at local doughnut shops. (If any of our readers know where to find one in the metro, let me know...please.) There are plenty of sites on the Internet, for you DIY types, to find recipes and videos for the at-home cronut (including this labor-intensive, but good version), but I was naturally drawn to the Cro-Magnon cronut recipes. You know, the ones that pass over the requirement for actually making croissant dough. Why go there when there are low-cost cans of Pillsbury cresent-roll dough in my supermarket refrigerator case just beckoning me?
Sorry, Mom and Dad, but the Taco Bell at 1306 Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard is no long selling kids' meals. Neither is the location at 9690 Metcalf. ("We stopped offering them a few days ago," the manager told me. "It all came down from corporate.") Nation's Restaurant News reported yesterday that the fast-food chain decided to eliminate its answer to the popular McDonald's Happy Meal from all of its stores this month. Most Kansas City locations have already stopped offering the meal-with-toy option.
There are few things as pleasurable as a slice of watermelon on a brutally hot day. But does watermelon really have a flavor? It does: pink sugar water with a subtle, almost evanescent hint of melon. Any melon does, by the way, including cantaloupe or honeydew. The bland sweetness of the fruit makes it ideal for salads (particularly teamed with a salty cheese like feta or a brash arugula), for bubble gum, for sorbets, and for Nabisco's 2013 Limited Edition Watermelon Oreo sandwich cookies.
It would have been a lot more daring for Nabisco to pair its pastel pink-and-green cream "watermelon" filling with the traditional chocolate hard cookie instead of the nearly flavorless "Golden" version. I'm not the first to bite into one of these cookies and have an immediate flashback to watermelon-flavored bubble gum (the gang of the Huffington Post did, last week), but who wants a cookie that tastes like Double Bubble?
Or, the more provocative question might be: Who wants a cookie that tastes like watermelon?
Actor and playwright David Wayne Reed spent Father's Day at Worlds of Fun. While he was at the amusement park, he bought a hot dog, a soda and a funnel cake with strawberries. The total purchase should have cost him less than $20.
The actual charge? Way more than that.
A 27-year-old McDonald's employee in Pennsylvania was singing the old Burger King theme song last week: She wanted it her way. And she's going to sue to make her point.
Philly.com reported yesterday that Natalie Gunshannon was expecting to get a paycheck after working at a McDonald's in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania from April 24 through May 15. "When she received her first paycheck," the philly.com story says, "enclosed was a Chase Bank debit card with instructions on how to use it and the fees attached.
"Her future earnings would be deposited into the debit card account and she could access her money from there.... When she returned to work she asked her supervisor if she could be paid by check or by direct deposit. She was told the card was the only option."
My late father hated taking his four young children to restaurants. But he did it anyway.
For one thing, he believed that the only serious way that youngsters truly developed a sense of behaving properly in a restaurant dining room was to actually eat in a restaurant dining room. We did not eat in the kind of places that we now call "kid-friendly" (although my parents were always relieved to find a Howard Johnson's restaurant on the highway, because they did not trust little "Mom and Pop" diners - too many of them had unspeakably dirty bathrooms).
As a waiter, I never minded waiting on families with small children (although the post-meal cleanup could be daunting). Not everyone can afford a baby sitter, you know? That's why I was sort of reeling when I read about a sushi restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia, banning all children from the premises. Yes, the combination of sushi and toddlers probably isn't a great one, but is it all that preferable to eat a California roll in a child-free environment?
It's only Tuesday, but it has already been a hell of a week for restaurateur Shirley Van Black.
Van Black has operated the Grandview diner Shirley's Homestyle Restaurant for 19 years. Back in the 1960s, this venue was a Dixon's Chili franchise.
Business has been up and down at the blink-and-you'll-miss-it venue, located at 12704 South U.S. Highway 71, over the last few years (particularly the dinner business), and the 74-year-old Van Black says she has had to use part of her Social Security income to keep the business afloat at times. But the worst was yet to come: Last week, a telephone scam artist convinced Van Black that KCPL was on its way over to shut off her electricity - KCTV Channel 5 first reported the story and its ultimately happy outcome - and insisted that she needed to pay the $631 bill over the phone immediately.
"I was told, 'You have to pay it now. Hurry, hurry.' I should have been more suspicious, but the call made me so nervous," says Van Black, who was recovering from a recent fall at her home that left her bruised and shaken.
She paid the bill, only to find out that none of the funds went to KCPL. That's when fans and longtime regulars of the restaurant sprang into action. Motivated by the news report of Van Black's loss, customers piled into the cafe on Sunday.
The neighborhood surrounding the Kansas City Art Institute was once one of the most exclusive suburbs of Kansas City, lined with stately mansions (including the former August R. Meyer estate, which has been the centerpiece of the Kansas City Art Institute campus since 1927) that are, for the most part, no longer private homes. One of the grander homes in the neighborhood, which is bordered by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, was the red-brick manor home constructed in 1907 for Dr. William Stone Woods, who was the chairman of the National Bank of Commerce at the time that he built his three-story Georgian Revival home at 4343 Oak.
Over the last century, the Selby Kurfiss-designed building has had several owners and been used for a variety of purposes: in the 1920s, it became a dormitory for the Missouri State Nurses Association, and after the Art Institute leased it in 1949, it was used as a dormitory for female students until it was sold to a local lawyer, William Pickett, in 1978. Pickett lived in the home until his death in 2009.
For the last two years, 29-year-old John Sabates has been overseeing the renovation of the Woods mansion into an eight-bedroom bed-and-breakfast (Sabates prefers to call it an "art hotel") for the building's owners, his parents, Dr. Roland and Marcia Sabates. When the new business, the Oak Street Mansion, officially opens later this summer, it will also serve as a showplace for much of the art collection that Dr. Sabates has collected over the years.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, during the years I was a server, a customer gripe: "If your employer would pay you a decent wage, I wouldn't have to leave a tip."
My response: "But they don't, Blanche. And they're not going to as long as they can get customers to subsidize our salaries and the National Restaurant Association to aggressively fight a rise in the tipped minimum wage."
That shut them up pretty quickly.
Saru Jayaraman, author of Behind the Kitchen Door and co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, a national restaurant workers organization, has heard all the same arguments for not paying restaurant worker a living wage - and then some.
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