The Year in Review: 2009

 Posted by at 12:38 am
Dec 172009

I threw together a few lists of notable happenings in the Kansas City culinary universe in an effort to articulate everything I have absorbed via Facebook, Twitter, Blog posts and comments over the last 12 months. Let me know if I have missed anything or more importantly, if you disagree with any of the subjective offerings below. Without further ado:

Notable Anniversaries:

The Golden Ox (60 years): I have a real soft spot for this old school west bottoms steakhouse.

Anthony’s (30 years): Speaking of old school. Jeez. Don’t miss the roving crooner who lurks around the bar with a wireless mic on weekends.

The Brick (10 years): I have tremendous respect for the Brick. Good food, good music and a wonderful staff.

Gone too Soon:
The economy and other factors claimed more than a few restaurants this past year. While not an exhaustive list, these places will be especially missed.

New York Bakery & Delicatessen: A tragedy. KC isn’t the same without the giant Reuben, a staple at this venerable institution.

Mike’s Tavern: This Rockhurst / UMKC drinkery opened its doors in 1965 and held a lot of special memories for folks who frequented it over the years.

El Cipote: This great Central American spot seemed ill-fitted to its Leawood strip mall location.

Matchstick BBQ: Wonderful sauce and expertly smoked meats.

Pangea: This favorite 39th street lunch spot closed at the end of 2008 and was probably not properly mourned.

River Dogs: This riverside hot dog shack took KC by storm over the summer, but disappeared just as it became popular.

Delaware Cafe: Now replaced by the Farmhouse, the River Market nonetheless misses this friendly, unpretentious cafe.

Adam’s Rib BBQ: Overland Parkers were really excited about Adam’s Rib, but the cost of renovation proved too much for the owner.

Rice & Beans Cafe: This tiny Latin American cafe was a regular stop for many KCK residents until its mysterious demise.

Good riddance:
Baby Jesus smiles every time a mediocre chain restaurant closes.

Cleat’z Sports Bar & Grill, Legends

Chili’s, Westport

McAlister’s Deli, Ward Parkway

Risen from the Ashes:
We counted them out, but new ownership breathed life back into two Kansas City institutions this year.

The Majestic Steakhouse

The Phoenix restaurant and jazz club

Mysterious and Questionable status:
Currently closed. No idea whether they will open again. Mike’s Tavern was on this list until a few days ago.

Hereford House: Was closed all of 2009 after a still-unresolved arson gutted the place.

Yummo: Depending on who you talk to, the Power & Light district’s frozen yogurt shop is either closed for the cold weather months, or gone for good.

Moving On Up:
These places picked up and moved to bigger and better spaces in 2009.

Lutfi’s Fried Fish opened up a nice soul food buffet in the Landing Mall

Cafe Trio moved from 3535 Broadway to the old Frondizi’s space at 4558 Main street.

Succotash briefly closed and moved from the City Market to 26th and Holmes.

Niecie’s recently opened its long-awaited space at Meyer and Troost, moving from its Prospect St. location.

Biggest Question for 2010

Will the arrival of Dunkin’ Donuts put any of our fine local donut shops out of business?

  14 Responses to “The Year in Review: 2009”

  1. There's no beating The Brick for good bar food.

  2. Don't forget, there's still an El Cipote location in Grandview.

  3. So Mike's is closed fer sure? I was wondering. The place has been in limbo for the past couple of years. Once it became a C-list music venue it was pretty much done for.

    Cleat'z food was actually not bad. My parents and I stopped there a few times. Everything else about the place–the name, decor, location, atmosphere–was not good. That said, it was the only place in the Legends complex where I felt like I was getting decent value for my money.

  4. Might be worth adding, Blanc Burgers & Bottles moved (or is moving?) to the old Uno's location on the Plaza.

  5. Right Chris, Blanc is indeed opening a space on the Plaza but I'm pretty sure it's not open just yet. I haven't heard anything for a few months but they should be close if they stuck to their original timeline reported here.

  6. Oh and JJSKCK yes, Mike's has been closed for several months and recently a For Lease sign went up. I live very close by so I keep up with it pretty well.

    As for Cleat'z, I'm glad it closed mostly because they won't open Flip-Flop'z Beach Bash, Spur'z Saloon and Stilleto'z martini bar as complementary ventures. Just a really cheesy concept.

  7. @Chris – The last I heard, Blanc has every intention to operate both the Westport and Plaza locations. I see no way this can possibly end well, but I'm usually only batting about .850 on stuff like this.

    And yeah, Cleat'z was a horrible concept. I had a hard time reconciling my liking the food with the atrocious combination of incorrect apostrophe usage and the oh-so-'90s-gangsta-rap use of the "Z" at the end.

  8. Long time lurker, first time poster –

    A place you guys have to check out is Burger to Go at 625 central in KCK. It's in the old checker's / China feast, and I honestly expected it to suck but I was very surprised. Basically, best burger I've ever had in KC, with hand cut skinny fries… Everything is super fresh and a double cheeseburger combo comes out to about 6 bucks. Really can't recommend the place enough.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. I will miss Delaware's potato leek soup and post-meal courtesy cookie. It was a great little spot and I'm sad its gone.

    I'm sure Mike's will rise again (it has many times). I met my husband there, so I sure hope it does, anyway.

  10. Wait? What? Succotash moved?? Isn't 26th and Holmes where You Say Tomato is?

  11. Yes, Catherine they moved a few weeks back and just opened recently. Mr. Ferruzza reviewed it in the most recent Pitch.

    Caroline I have heard that Mike's has come back from the dead before. Let's hope it does again, while simultaneously reinventing itself as a cooler place than it has been the last few years.

    And thanks for the suggestion, Connor, it's on the spreadsheet. Always good to lure those lurkers out in the open too.

  12. Thanks for the reminder to go grab a few more circles of fabulous fried dough from a local donut shop!

  13. A friend of mine was considering buying Mike's. She would have made the place awesome again, but between the work that needed to be done, her involvement in the community and full-time job, etc, it just didn't work out. I came |this| close to my dream of having a friend who owns a bar. Shucks!

  14. Hey LD, that's my dream too!