But the old building, which the McLaughlins tastefully renovated, gets a new life this month as the second home to Georgie Porgie's. For eight years, Georgie Porgie's was a beloved breakfast-and-lunch venue in south Kansas City, as famous for its geegaw-festooned décor as for its pancakes and sandwiches. George and Connie Glaholt opened the diner-style operation in 1996 in a narrow storefront at 8111 Wornall. The problem, even for die-hard fans, was that the tiny strip shopping center had only a few parking spaces. The lack of parking and George Glaholt's health problems forced the popular spot to close in February 2005.
"The new place has plenty of parking," says Don Baldwin, who will run the new Georgie Porgie's with the Glaholts when it opens at the end of this month. "The menu will be the same as it was at the old place, and the décor will be similar, too."
The biggest change will be the hours. In addition to breakfast and lunch, the new Georgie Porgie's will serve family-style dinners. "Fried chicken, baked ribs and a daily special," Baldwin promises.
Farther north on Troost, the two-month-old Habeneros serves Mexican meals including breakfast out of an old fast-food building at 6200 Troost. Over the past two years, that location has been home to several short-lived restaurants, including KC's Rockin' Rib House, the Shrimp Shack and Charlie's Catfish.
Owner Robert Bernard is cook, manager and dishwasher in the space (which is unaffiliated with Habenero's Mexican Restaurant on Blue Parkway, by the way, though Bernard's brother, Juan, owns the 24-hour Pancho's at 3540 Main). Bernard gets up early to whip up omelets and breakfast burritos for the morning crowd.
Lately, that crowd has included me; a $3.70 Spanish omelet folded around ham, chorizo, vegetables and cheese and sided with rice, beans and tortillas is a pretty good deal. If an early morning desayuno Mexicano doesn't strike your fancy, just wait a couple of hours for inexpensive combo platters, tacos, burritos and nachos, and wash 'em down with sweet horchata or pineapple punch.