"We were able to get our liquor license and open the doors. It's really exciting," chef and owner Bryan Merker says.
Nica's 320 is the restaurant that grew out of Nica's Cafe in Overland Park, the coffeehouse/wine bar/restaurant space that Merker opened in January 2010 with his wife, Monika, and business partner, Phil Dunn. The cafe closed in January of this year as the trio looked for a new space for a fusion-restaurant concept. They found that the Shiraz space was available — the Crossroads stalwart closed after 14 years of operation in October 2008.
"This building has a lot of great history, and we've just tried to embrace it," Merker says.
Nica's 320 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a mix of beignets, open-face omelets and cornbread pancakes. The lunch and dinner menus include Nica's signature dishes of build-your-own pizza and macaroni and cheese, as well as crepes and wok-fried noodles. With Thai, Korean, Italian and Cajun influences, Merker is hoping to offer something to tempt everyone.
You should leave room for the made-to-order beignets, which are filled with everything from brie and berry to chocolate hazelnut. The restaurant also has an extensive cocktail menu with tea-infused martinis called Nicatinis (the La Mur has blueberry jasmine tea, lemonade, Skyy Citrus & Ginger, and Canton's) and absinthe cocktails made with Pernod absinthe.
Nica's 320 is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m Monday through Thursday, 7:30 to 1 a.m. Friday, 8 to 1 a.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The number is 816-471-2900.