The economy, a questionable location and lots of competition also did in another restaurant last week: Scavuzzo's at 7148 West 80th Street in downtown Overland Park. The place, owned by the talented chef Carl Scavuzzo and his wife, Suzanne, closed on November 8 after seven months. The Scavuzzos essentially ran out of money (the Italian deli adjacent to the restaurant cost them twice as much as they had projected) and decided to cut their losses, Suzanne says.
The place served wonderful food, but the location -- the former John Francis Restaurant -- has always been a magnet for an older clientele that doesn't have a lot of disposable income. Suzanne says customers kept telling them they should have opened in Brookside. Well, they probably should have. The competition would have been less intense: Overland Park already boasts Il Trullo, Villa Capri, Cinzetti's and Carraba's, each barely a meatball's toss from Scavuzzo's. And then there's the wildly popular new Bravo! Cucina Italiana at Leawood's Town Center Plaza.
"Carl and I agreed that when it was time to quit, we would," Suzanne says. "It's heartbreaking, but we just don't have deep pockets."
Carl Scavuzzo is looking at other opportunities both in and out of the restaurant business. "He may go into sales," Suzanne says. "It's hard to spend time with your children when you're cooking every night. A 9-to-5 job actually sounds good to him right now."
But 9-to-5 isn't in the cards for Marty Jenkins, who worked at Sharp's 63rd Street Grill (128 West 63rd) for eleven years, until he and his partner, Kim Hamilton, bought the business from Tracy Sharp in September. They immediately started a major cleanup, which included giving the space a long-overdue paint job. New carpet, upholstery and curtains will be in place by January. The menu has been overhauled as well, and the kitchen is now serving a limited menu -- "munchy fried food," Jenkins says -- until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.