The new restaurant will likely open by March of next year at 4141 Pennsylvania in Westport, where Doty had planned to build Barrio, a taqueria with the late John McClure.
"That something so tragic could present such a good opportunity, I've had mixed feelings about that," Ryan says. "But I really don't think there's a better situation in all of Kansas City."
The Port Fonda trailer, which sits parked in the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange parking lot most weekends, will close in mid-December for the season. It will reopen in the spring, but possibly in a new location, in an alley adjacent to the space on Pennsylvania Avenue. Ryan's partner, Max Watson, would likely oversee the trailer, while Ryan cooks in the new restaurant.
"The trailer business is hyper-seasonal. This is a chance to move forward. It's the perfect storm to create something good and successful," Ryan says.
While the brick-and-mortar restaurant will continue to serve chilaquiles and tacos - the foundation of Port Fonda's trailer menu - Ryan is also excited to expand on the plated dishes and specials that can be challenging to produce in the Airstream's kitchen.
"As much success as we have had at the table and with our dinners, that's what really shines. We want to continue to build on that type of food and experience," Ryan says.
And while Ryan is quick to assert that his concept is not Barrio, he does want to honor his friend John McClure.
"We'll have a nod to him. A drink or food item, something with his name and likeness fully on it," Ryan says.
The space is in the process of being built out, and the new partnership team of Ryan and Doty is still securing investors. The duo intend to pursue a full liquor license and, at some point, a name.
"I've been part of restaurant openings, and usually you figure out the name first. Right now, there's just so many other things to do," Ryan says. "It's going to be really, really amazing. Something totally unique to Kansas City."
Barrio is holding a pop-up event at the 403 Club (403 N. Fifth St.) in Kansas City, Kansas, from 6 p.m. to midnight Sunday, December 4. Pop-up taco nights were previously held at RecordBar and Twin City Tavern.