"What happened," Hajeeh says, sighing, "was that last spring, I sold the restaurant to a lady who was going to open a soul-food restaurant. But she never opened! It sat empty for two months. So I took the place back and reopened it as the Promiseland Café in July. But I had to get a new phone number."
That number is 816-444-2223. The place is now open seven days a week, and all the prices have been dramatically reduced. "There's not a dinner priced higher than $8.95," he says. "That includes salmon, beef Oscar, puff pastry stuffed with salmon, and shrimp." Dinners also include a salad, rice and a vegetable. Just remember to bring the checkbook; Promiseland accepts checks but still doesn't take credit cards.
Elsewhere, a quartet of Kansas Citians -- Kelly Alvarez-Clodfelter; her husband, Rodney Clodfelter (the sous chef at Piropos); her cousin Tanya Abarca; and Tanya's husband, Jason Abarca -- has been looking at the location once occupied by the former New World Bistro (900 Westport Road). Alvarez-Clodfelter says the two couples would like to open a South American restaurant, possibly called Azule's or Dolce's, if they can find the right location.
Could 900 Westport Road be the place? That corner storefront has been empty since New World closed in 2000. For most of 2002, a banner proclaiming "Xcaret Coming Soon" hung over the front door, but that "upscale Mexican restaurant" never opened. The lease to the space is still held by the in-laws of former New World Bistro operator Joseph Fisher. Alvarez-Clodfelter says she and her partners have been negotiating with the lease-holders for the location but are still "in the planning stage."
And on the subject of planning, the Greater Kansas City Chefs Association has scheduled its 28th annual Culinary Benefit and Chefs Award banquet for Sunday, October 5, at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the event -- which is open to the public -- benefit the Johnson County Community College chef apprenticeship program. Call Judy Boley at 913-469-8500 for details.