Five new bars and restaurants to check out in Kansas City
With regret we haven’t checked in on KC restaurants for a while—there’s been, um, some stuff going on lately. But as we emerge from our shutdown status, whether ill-advised or not, there are some new restaurants to try—and even a few new bars! Check out our abbreviated list below for a few of the new options.
5815 Nieman Road, Shawnee
Entrepreneur and bartender Jill Cockson is officially opening her newest bar, Drastic Measures, this afternoon at 5815 Nieman Road in Shawnee. Cockson opened her Crossroads cocktail bar, Swordfish Tom’s, three years ago, and is following a similar model with Drastic Measures. The bar is compact and exclusively cocktail-oriented (don’t go looking for beer or wine here), and is focused on hospitality and customer experience. With its quiet, relaxed ambiance and limited capacity (not to mention the high-level cocktails), it makes for an ideal drinking experience in pandemic times.
3216 Gillham Plaza, Suite 100, KCMO
Inside the at-last remodeled Luzier building on Gillham Road, entrepreneur Robin Krause has opened Billie’s Grocery, is a 5,000 square-foot grocery store, coffee shop, restaurant, and wellness shop. This long-awaited spot is just the latest in Krause’s history, which includes the Filling Station (since sold to Messenger Coffee with Krause retaining a financial stake), Soho Bakery, and Unbakery and Juicery in Brookside. Billie’s Grocery customers can pop in for cold-pressed juices, cocktails, coffee, or even CBD tinctures and other wellness items. The restaurant features a breakfast/lunch menu, as well as an all-day menu. Krause’s focus is on high-quality, “clean” ingredients, so look for items like the Salmon Mezze Bowl, with smoked salmon, a hard-boiled pink egg, pickled onions, and organic wild greens, served on sourdough toast; the raw bowl, with crudités, beet hummus, and basil-infused olive oil; and the grass-fed better burger, with house-fermented Billie’s bomb sauce on a brioche bun.
5245 West 116th Place, Leawood
From the team behind the Plaza’s Monarch Bar comes Leawood’s Verdigris, which opened earlier this month. Described as a “softer” and more compact cousin of Monarch Bar, Verdigris offers the same upscale cocktail game and glitzy atmosphere (with the glitzy price points). Verdigris, like the Monarch Bar, is also offering many of its signature cocktails to go. Try the Polynesian Punch, which features a blend of Verdigris’ Infinity rum, Amaretto, Passionfruit-honey syrup, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It’s a summer vacation in a glass.
Duck & Roll
4800 Main Street, KCMO
Inspired by Hong Kong hawker markets and dim sum restaurants, Duck & Roll opened in May. Owned by the team that opened Banksia Bakehouse in 2018 (Rob and Kate Joseph and Erika Vikor), Duck & Roll offers a wok bar, lots of house-made dumplings, Chinese barbecue, hot pots, and much more. If you are a snacky eater, it’s a must-try.
1735 Oak Street, KCMO
The latest entrant to the East Crossroads’ expanding brewery scene, Nimble Brewing offers fruit-forward IPAs, like the “Fluffhead,” a Milkshake IPA brewed with pineapple and coconut; and the Lush Sour Ale, made with fresh blackberries.
And while we’re trying to strike an optimistic note, it’s always a good idea to check a restaurant’s social media before visiting. There are a lot of closures lately – some permanent, including Boru Ramen, Parkway Social Kitchen, Plaza III Steakhouse, and Porto du Sol. Some are temporary and illness-related/precautionary including the Lenexa Chik-Fil-A and Shio Ramen. Suffice to say, it’s always good to check before visiting any particular spot. And please keep supporting restaurants through takeout or gift cards if you are not comfortable dining in.