Restaurant Roundup: May 2017

What's happening on KC's food and drink scene

Big As Yo' Face Steak Burrito



   Chuy’s, a Tex-Mex chain based in Austin, Texas, plans a May 30 opening at 119th Street and Strang Line Road in Olathe. The kitchy, Elvis-obsessed restaurant, which opened a location on the Country Club Plaza in 2013, serves from-scratch favorites like “big as yo’ face” burritos, tacos, enchiladas, salads and house specialties like Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken (chicken breaded with potato chips, deep-fried and smothered in green chile sauce and cheddar cheese) and the Chuychanga (fried flour tortilla filled with oven-roasted chicken, cheese, cilantro and green chiles, topped with sour cream and your choice of from-scratch sauce).

   11965 Strang Line Road, Olathe, Kan.,

   West Plaza will gain perhaps the most highly anticipated bar of the year when The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge opens its doors this summer. The bar will be on the first floor of the building that houses the Polsinelli law firm. The brainchild of master mixologists Kenny Cohrs (Jax Fish House & Oyser Bar, Manifesto, Café Trio, Bar Rosso, Louie’s Wine Dive, the Pendergast Club), Brock Schulte (Manifesto, The Rieger, M&S Grill, The Drum Room) and Mark Church (Grünaer), The Monarch draws much of its inspiration from internationally acclaimed bars in London, Rome, New York, Chicago, Paris and more. The trio, who are partners at Liquid Minded Concepts, a beverage events and consultant business they own with Brandon Cummins, will focus on quality, detail-oriented cocktails that create a “full sensory experience,” Cohrs stated in an interview with The Kansas City Star. David Manica, president and owner of Manica Architecture, is The Monarch’s majority stakeholder. The bar will have a custom butterfly chandelier, a fireplace, a white marble-topped bar and a lounge and patio.

   4840 Roanoke Parkway, Kansas City, Mo.,

   Chicago-based Elly’s Brunch & Café has signed a lease for a 5,300-square-foot space in the 4800 Main Building, formerly home to the Kansas City Board of Trade. The owners plan to open this month next to neighbors Stock Hill, Populous, Eat Fit Go and Power Life Yoga. Founded in 1997 as Elly’s Pancake House, the restaurant has rebranded to Elly’s Brunch & Café. It has seven locations in the Chicago area and one location in Phoenix. Menu items include omelets, breakfast sandwiches, crepes, French toast, pancakes, waffles, burgers, salads and more.

   4800 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.,

   After six years on the Country Club Plaza, Coal Vines has closed its doors to make way for a new concept. Owners Bret Springs and Zach Marten (Westport Ale House, The Rockhill Grille) will debut the new restaurant this summer.

   616 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Mo.

The Russell on Main Kansas City

Caprese salad from The Russell | photo by Amante Domingo


   Chef Amante Domingo and culinary entrepreneur Heather White have rented the former Russell Florist space, 3141 Main St., and plan to open The Russell restaurant, bakery and catering business this month. At press time, construction was still underway at the 2,500-square-foot space, so the duo will be booking caterings first and opening the restaurant and bakery next. Domingo has been in the restaurant business for most of his life – his family owned a small restaurant, and he has worked various jobs at a handful of Kansas City restaurants. White started the successful franchise Cupcakes by Heather and Lori in Vancouver in 2002. She will run the bakery side of The Russell, crafting treats like carrot cake, sour cream brownies and, of course, cupcakes. Other menu items include a Bella Brie sandwich (brie, portabella mushroom, tomato, avocado, grilled red pepper and pesto on an onion bun), and an heirloom salad (wild grains, pearl couscous, grilled asparagus, arugula, basil, mint and feta with a sun-dried tomato dressing). The menu will feature locally sourced ingredients and will change with the seasons. The Russell will also offer grab-and-go items like boxed lunches and dinner kits.

   3141 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (913) 231-1509,

   Draftcade, an arcade and restaurant in Zona Rosa, opened in the former Fat Fish Blue space next to the Improv Comedy Club last month. It features more than 70 classic arcade games and more than 60 rotating craft beers on tap. Menu items include a house burger with boursin cheese, fried leeks and garlic mayo; smoked Brussels sprouts with lemon aioli; jumbo chicken wings with blueberry habanero sauce; and even deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos. Draftcade is age 21 and up from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

   7260 NW 87th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 759-3474,

   Christopher Elbow, owner of Glacé Artisan Ice Cream, decided not to renew his lease at his Leawood location, 4535 W. 119th St. Elbow said the Main Street location does very well and that after nearly six years in Leawood, the higher rental rate “doesn’t make sense anymore.”

   4960 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 561-1117,

   The Drop Bar & Bistro, an upscale New American restaurant and bar at Martini Corner, closed its doors March 31 after more than 10 years of business. It was known for its inventive bruschettas (roasted squash, sage and Parmesan; blue cheese mousse, grapes and honey; chocolate and berries), brunch and beverages (owner Hope Dillon spilled the recipe for the customer favorite Red Winetini on The Drop’s Facebook page).

   409 E. 31st St., Kansas City, Mo.

   A new barbecue gastropub, Smoke Brewing Company, has joined downtown Lee’s Summit’s bourgeoning food and craft beer scene. The concept is the brainchild of father-son duo Jeff and Josh Edwards, founders of competition barbecue team Building Smoke BBQ, and combines award-winning ‘cue with craft beers brewed on-site. Smoke Brewing teamed up with brewmaster Bret Lightle to craft five beers for the opening. Currently on tap are Keltic Kross (Irish red ale), Black Utter (milk stout), Juice (Northeastern IPA), Butcher Block (Pilsner) and Irish Water (Irish extra stout), with many more in the works. Specialty cocktails are also available. And in the kitchen, chef Daniel Patterson of Story and The Rieger fame lends his talents to menu items like garden tart, corn risotto, craft brew mac ‘n’ cheese, chocolate pecan pie and homemade pork rinds. The ‘cue side of the menu touts competition barbecue wings, ribs, pulled pork and signature pork belly burnt ends.

209 E. Main St., Lee’s Summit, Mo., (816) 525-2337,

   Executive chef Bradley Gilmore brings Ignite Wood Fire Grill, a contemporary Midwestern restaurant, to Lenexa City Center April 27. The menu consists of rotisserie meats like chicken and steak; wood-fired seafood like scallops and crab legs; and specialties like shrimp and grits, enchiladas and cubano croquettes. Gilmore, whose résumé includes Gram & Dun and Trezo Mare, says Ignite is a unique, chef-driven restaurant with elevated food in a casual, elegant and comfortable setting. Grab a seat at the chef counter, which offers a view into the kitchen as line cooks interact with diners and carve meat straight off the rotisserie and onto your plate.

8721 Ryckert St., Lenexa, Kan., (913) 538-7556,