Here’s a roundup of notable restaurant news for Kansas City, including July openings and more coming soon…
The upcoming July issue of Kansas City includes a small list of incoming breweries with a brief mention of Vine Street Brewing, which is coming to the Jazz District this fall. We caught up with co-owner Kemet Coleman to get more information on the project. Vine Street is the city’s first Black-owned brewery and was announced last year, with a projected opening date of this summer. The updated timeline is no later than October, Coleman says.
During demolition, they found “some surprises” which pushed things back two to three months. And, of course, supply chain issues are hammering every project. “Let’s just say bringing back a hundred- and -fifty-year-old building from the dead is no easy task,” he says.
That’s given Coleman and his partners more time to work on collaborations with breweries in the area, further honing their skills as they move into commercial brewing from the homebrew scene. So far they have worked with Boulevard, 3 Trails, Transport, Pathlight, Strange Days, Diametric and Red Crow Brewing. “On deck, we will also collaborate with City Barrel in the next couple of months, Coleman says. All of these experiences have been instrumental in us going from homebrew scale to a seven-barrel system, so we are confident it will all be worth the wait.”
Coleman says the KC beer scene has “welcomed us with open arms,” which has helped his mission-driven brewery make progress even before opening. “That mission is in part to reintroduce beer to a whole new community, including individuals who don’t think they like beer, and to normalize a wide spectrum of identities on the beer scene,” he says. “Beer and great experiences go hand in hand. We’re committed to offering craft beers and experiences fermented in the spirit of jazz and hip-hop. We want everyone to have the opportunity to tap into the culture. Our location speaks to that commitment. We strive to actively participate in the revitalization of Kansas City’s most sacred soil, the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. We want to appeal to locals and tourists who are expecting what the Jazz District is famous for and beyond.”
An Arkansas taco spot with a focus on charity will be coming to Overland Park sometime before this fall. For every taco (or salad, rice bowl or quesadilla) sold, Tacos 4 Life donates twenty-four cents to a nonprofit that serves hungry children around the world. The amount, just shy of a quarter, is what the company says is enough to buy a meal for a child in many parts of the world. Tacos 4 Life has locations ranging from North Carolina to Texas. The most popular and distinctive items are Korean BBQ steak, blackened Mahi-Mahi and a chicken-bacon-ranch taco.
The KC area is getting two more locations of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, as the Star reports that the Memphis-based chain has inked deals to expand into Lee’s Summit and Belton. The aggressively casual chicken shacks, which serve batter-fried birds on styrofoam plates with picnic sides like beans and coleslaw, have been a hit in KC, with locations in KCK and Overland Park. The Lee’s Summit location is the former Ted’s Cafe Escondido off Missouri 291. The Belton location will open in spring 2023.
There’s a new tenant in the former Chai Shai on Holmes in Brookside, and it could hardly be more different from the former tenant. The new Earl’s Premier is a boozy, “Maine-inspired” oyster bar founded by two friends who vacation together on the East Coast. The interior has been brightened considerably and the open-seating patio beckons seafood fans on cooler days. The menu is heavily focused on shellfish, with recent appearances of Argentinean red prawns and clam dip. There’s also slow roasted pulled pork, East Coast fried oysters and slaw, all finished with a mustardy bourbon-pickle juice sauce.
Martin Cizmar is the editor of Kansas City magazine.
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