"Our business was poor, but people are standing in line to get into the chain restaurants," Quillec sniffs. Happily, his other suburban venue, the Overland Park Hannah Bistro Café (7070 West 105th Street), is thriving in a space once occupied by Semolina International Pasta Restaurant, which flopped, and more recently by Café Paris.
Quillec just introduced a new menu that includes the extraordinary Chinese Dry Run Flat Iron Steak, beautifully presented atop a pyramid of Swiss chard and mushrooms. At $19.95, it's a bargain alternative to his 8-ounce filet, which is currently selling for $31.95. Mon Dieu!
Quillec says he's looking at locations for a new boîte in the Crossroads District. And on that note, a long-successful downtown location, the spot where Las Chiquitas (1656 Broadway) operated for half a century, is now the freshly painted and lively Los Tules, owned by husband-and-wife team Salvadore and Maria Tules. They're veterans of Ponak's Restaurant (2856 Southwest Boulevard), where Salvadore cooked for a decade and Maria waited tables.
The Los Tules menu is greatly expanded from the old Las Chiquitas fare and includes fajitas, tortas and vegetarian dishes. Street parking, alas, is kind of a drag, since Broadway is off-limits to parked cars from 3 to 5 p.m. But who eats before 5 p.m.?
Elsewhere, two young interior designers, Tim Wikstrom and Edward Neer, are turning a former florist shop at 641 East 59th Street into a "charity-based" coffeehouse scheduled to open in mid-July. Wikstrom says The Tin Cup will serve coffee drinks and pastries from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and donate a percentage of its profits to area nonprofits.
Wikstrom notes that the space will only seat twenty people, but he and Neer plan to keep overhead low so that charities will get nice chunks of change. Bless their big ol' hearts.