Attitude Is Everything

A new breakfast and lunch spot brings antique charm to 31st and Cherry streets.



Gob cookies

 

   In April, Kansas City welcomed the long-awaited Attitude, a breakfast and lunch joint on the corner of 31st and Cherry streets near the Union Hill neighborhood. This quaint shop offers classic fare with a twist.

   A Powerful Attitude

   There’s a sign at the cash register bearing a familiar idiom: “Attitude is everything. Pick a good one.” Patti Allen and Greg Kormanik, Attitude’s owners, have taken this to heart, and they’ve infused plenty of personality into every corner of their café. You’ll have a hard time focusing on the menu when you walk in; vintage mirrors, antique signage spanning several decades, ornate chests and baskets, crocheted table runners and even an old-fashioned dress form will all vie for your attention. Allen is largely to thank for that. Since 2012, she’s co-owned and operated the vintage furniture and goods shop Bella Patina in the West Bottoms, and Attitude carries the same charm.

 

 

   Getting Started

   Bella Patina is one of the West Bottoms’ most beloved destinations for antiquing and thrifting enthusiasts, and its third-floor café, Vintage Eats & Sweets, is one of the many hidden gems to be found there. This was the place where Kormanik’s baking talents could shine, but the café was only open during Bella Patina’s hours, one weekend a month for First Fridays. The desire to make Allen and Kormanik’s restaurant dream a reality was encouraged by the popular reception Vintage Eats & Sweets garnered. The only thing the pair needed was the right location.

   A Slice of History

   The right location is also a historic one. Attitude has set up shop on the first floor of a two-story building that started out as the Wirthman Hill pharmacy in the early 1900s – this explains the “Drugs” spelled out in blue-and-white tile across the threshold. (After World War I, the space changed tenants with some frequency, and the space housed both a hat-cleaning shop and a tire store, though not simultaneously.) In true fashion, Allen and Kormanik unearthed a few remnants of the building’s history from its basement, which are on display in the restaurant alongside the duo’s other collected treasures.

 

ALL THAT ATTITUDE, $12

 

   On the Plate

   There are nods to Allen’s Italian heritage and Kormanik’s Polish heritage throughout the menu at Attitude, and you’ll do well to sample both the meatball sub sandwich — with those thick, hearty rounds of spiced beef — and the traditional walnut povitica bread. Early risers can celebrate, too: Attitude is open for breakfast at 7 a.m., and one taste of the cinnamon bread French toast will be enough to hook you. Everything at Attitude is priced economically — dare we say cheaply — but the most expensive item on the menu, an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink breakfast platter called All That Attitude, is certainly a bargain at $12. Featuring a from-scratch biscuit topped with stick-to-your-ribs sausage gravy, fried potatoes, bacon, sausage patty, scrambled eggs, grilled peppers and cheddar cheese, this plate will keep you full for a week. If the thought of it doesn’t push you over the edge, make sure you grab a “gob” to go — that’s a soft cookie filled with your choice of vanilla cream, chocolate cream or peanut butter cream.

   600 E. 31st St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 729-4125, attitudeinkc.com