Ignore the bright-yellow Kansas City Cafe sign still hanging on the side of the red-brick building at 1532 Grand.
"That was supposed to come down yesterday," says restaurateur Celina Tio with a sigh. "I may get on the ladder and take it down myself."
Kansas City Cafe is now officially gone. Tio purchased the two-story building and has been serving her own lunch menu for weeks. But this is the true opening weekend for Collection, her newest project since opening her Brookside boite, Julian, in 2009. The gloomy weather - rain and snow, notorious for keeping even the most loyal restaurant patrons at home - isn't ruining Tio's upbeat mood. Collection is finally open for business.
The first area location is expected to open this spring at 4725 Broadway across from the Apple Store on the Country Club Plaza. Potbelly has yet to file a building permit for the site in Overland Park. As soon as I have a timetable or when they break ground, I'll update you.
Chef and restaurateur Robert Krause, the Lawrence entrepreneur best-known for the namesake bistro he once operated out of his home and two more conventional restaurants (the wildly popular Burger Stand at the Casbah, and the short-lived Esquina on Massachusetts Street), operates like a Broadway producer. He likes assembling the details of a new project - the concept, the staging, the cast and the crew. But once the show - or, in his case, the restaurant - is up and running, he's ready to move on to a new project.
Since selling Esquina last year (it's now chef Jim Vaughn's Intorno restaurant), Krause has been plotting his next move: an old-school comfort-food venue that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. He's negotiating to buy a building on Massachusetts Street, and when the deal is complete, he and WheatFields Bakery co-founder Charles Rascoll plan to serve comfort food at a venue called Larry's Kitchen.
"After two seasons, we have decided to close the Magical Meatball Tour," says co-owner Venus Van Horn, who ran the truck with Ceasar Reyes. "It was an amazing experience, and we are proud to have been a small part of the new generation of food trucks in Kansas City."
Eleven days ago, Cafe Cedar owner Jehad Selah sent out a tweet to his followers: "Hello everyone, great news, great news, great news, great news. We are so excited about our move...."
There really is "great news," Selah tells Fast Pitch, but he's not ready to talk about it - yet. Selah did close the venue at 2 East Second Street in Parkville on April 13 (the restaurant's phone number is no longer in service), and not because business was slow. "Our business was very good, right up to the last day," Selah says. "But I was very unhappy with that location." Selah had combined two culinary concepts at his former digs: Patrons could order either classic Middle Eastern cuisine or all-American fried-chicken dinners. But after eight years in that space, Selah was ready for a change. A big change.
"We couldn't eat 70 percent of what we had been eating, and we were miserable," Minton says of her gluten intolerance. "I kept going back to juicing and tea and how much better it made us feel. There was nothing out there, and I thought it's time for a space like this."
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