Former Kansas City restaurateur Sean Cummings, best-known for his Grille on Broadway restaurant, called Fat City today to report that his friend and original chef, Lorenza "Poco" Guiterrez, the owner of the beloved Poco's on the Boulevard restaurant at 3063 Southwest Boulevard, passed away after a long illness.
One of Kansas City's most popular restaurant owners, Guiterrez was as loved for her bubbly, warm personality as her cooking skills. In 2007, she turned the old Waid's restaurant on Southwest Boulevard into a gathering place that served both familiar diner dishes - eggs, pancakes, waffles - and expertly prepared Mexican favorites. Before opening her namesake restaurant, Guiterrez was the chef at several Sean Cummings restaurants - The Grille on Broadway, Boca Boca - before taking over the kitchen at Hope Dillon's restaurant in the same location, this time named for her: Poco's Latin American Grill.
"She was a great talent and a wonderful person," Dillon says. "We'll miss her."
"Poco wanted to live the American Dream," Cummings says, "and she did. She opened her own restaurant and ran a food-truck business. She was an amazing woman."
Fat City will report on funeral arrangements when the information becomes available.