On the Menu: Plaza III
Plaza III has packed up and reopened in the suburbs.
Before Plaza III Steakhouse officially made its return to the Kansas City metro area in November, inquisitive types would shade their eyes at the window or poke their heads in at the construction site to ask when the restaurant would open.
That’s only natural when a place that was, until recently, a decades-old institution on the Country Club Plaza pops up at 12631 Metcalf in Overland Park.
Haddad Restaurant Group, which has owned Plaza III since 1992, made the bittersweet decision to close the original location on March 10. But the plan to resurrect the restaurant elsewhere in 2018 was “etched in stone” in the last couple of weeks of operations when sales volume was especially high, says David Haddad, president of Haddad Restaurant Group.
“When we were talking to literally hundreds and hundreds of customers that were so sad to see us go,” Haddad says, “and we were telling them that we were going to be looking for a location out south, virtually every one of them was saying: ‘Well, that’s where I live. We can’t wait!’ It really gave us no doubt in our minds that the best place to relocate to was in southern Johnson County. It was sad to go, but we are really excited for the future.”
Grappling with an aging multi-level infrastructure that caused maintenance expenses to steadily climb annually was one of the main reasons for closing in the Plaza. Inadequate parking close to that space was another factor.
Besides alleviating those concerns, Haddad sees this new home for Plaza III, across from St. Luke’s South Hospital, as a good fit for them in other ways.
“We feel like the demographics of the high-income housing will drive a strong dinner business, and all the offices really within a mile of us will be driving a really strong lunch,” Haddad says. “So we do think it’s a really good location.”
The lunch and dinner menus at Plaza III will essentially be the same, with a handful of new wrinkles added to the mix. Luncheon entrees include pan-fried crab cakes, meatloaf, and fried jumbo shrimp in addition to the restaurant’s famous steaks, and sandwiches such as a French dip, bacon cheddar chicken and steakburgers on ciabatta buns are also offered. The usual wealth of steak and seafood options fill the dinner menu.
Additionally, Plaza III will be running specials a lot more frequently than it did at the original location, particularly at the lunch hour, and Haddad is also trying something else he’s never tried before.
“We do intend to have breakfast up and running relatively quickly,” Haddad says, “and we’ll be doing a plated brunch Saturday and Sunday.”
Happy hour at Plaza III used to be only six days per week because the restaurant was only open for dinner on Sundays. But now, if happy hour is your thing, it’s seven days a week and will feature items such as oysters on the half shell and shrimp cocktail for $1 apiece.
So in some respects, Plaza III is branching out into unchartered territory with this iteration. With a new location comes greater flexibility and a fresh outlook. But in other respects, it’ll be like the essence of Plaza III never left. Haddad says the best customers were in constant communication leading up to the restaurant’s opening, and the management team that was at the Plaza location will be the same one that operates it in Overland Park.
“I would say a lot of our regulars are real excited, and then the other kind of group is, maybe they weren’t past regulars but they live really close by,” Haddad says. “And they’re all aware that we’re coming, and also they’re very excited.”