Restaurateur and former TWA stewardess LaTrelle "Trelle" Osteen hasn't been to work since September. Osteen, the effervescent and chatty owner of the eclectic bistro, Lill's on 17th (which opened as Lillies on 17th back in 2004), has been suffering from congestive heart failure and has had difficulty breathing for months. She has finally decided to give up the lease on her eight-year-old bistro - one of the few restaurants in town that permitted dogs on its patio - and call it a day. The restaurant will serve its final meal December 22.
"The highlights of the last eight years? The people who would come in. I had the best customers in Kansas City," Osteen says. "And the best staff! No one ever left unless they were moving out of town. My staff were like family to me."
Osteen's health - she now wears a defibrillator - has deteriorated to the point that she hasn't been able to make personal appearances at her restaurant for months. She does, however, plan to be at the closing-night celebration on Saturday, December 22, if only for an hour. ("We're having a blowout for all my old regulars," she says.) That event will be closed to the general public, but Lill's is still taking dinner reservations for the nights prior to December 22. Reservations can be made by calling 816-421-4441. And if the weather is warm enough, your dog can play on the patio - even if the customers don't.