After two years in its original location at 14861 Metcalf in Overland Park, the owners of Frida's Contemporary Mexican Cuisine (including co-owner Ivan Marquez and his wife, Mary, and two minority partners) moved the restaurant to a much bigger venue at 7200 West 121st Street. The new Frida's opened on Sunday after a whirlwind weekend of last-minute repairs and clean-up.
"We had customers, seeing that our lights were on, stop in on Saturday night to find out if we were open," says Mary Marquez, "and when they saw we were frantically cleaning, several of them pitched in to help. Ivan had run an errand and when he walked in, he saw a group of our regular customers sweeping the floors."
Marquez says there were a number of reasons to move to the former El Espolon restaurant space: It has twice the seating capacity of the old Frida's dining room and has the space for an outdoor patio (construction on this new patio, which will seat 25 to 30 customers, begins next week) and a private dining room that seats 10. After gutting the previous restaurant's interior, Marquez brought in local interior designer Laura Bowman to create a soothing palette of wall colors, including dark sage and an earthy terra cotta. There's a noisy main dining room on the west side of the space and a less raucous dining area in the bar, near the entrance.
Another reason for moving north, Marquez says, is that many of his customers - including those living in Kansas City - complained bitterly about having to drive so far south to eat at the first Frida's. The new location is only a jaunt from the I-435 and Metcalf interchange.
That being said, Marquez and several partners will be serving tacos and burritos at a new, fast-casual concept they are introducing in July: Frida's Taqueria is scheduled to open early next month in the Fountains shopping center at Lamar and 119th Street.