Bloomsbury Bistro closes Saturday, Courtyard on Mission Road opens soon
After a 15-year run as the premier “ladies who lunch” restaurant in the metro, the popular Bloomsbury Bistro inside the Mission Road Antique Mall at 4101 West 83rd Street, will close on Saturday with its chef-owner Cari Jo Cavalcante in attendance to bid farewell to the patrons who have kept the lunch-only venue a vital presence in Prairie Village.
Cavalcante, who has been living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the last several years, has maintained a long-distance relationship with the dining spot she opened in April 2001. After a period of renovation, the venue will re-open later this spring as the Courtyard on Mission Road, owned by Judith Dobson. A professional chef in her own right, Dobson operated the successful Courtyard on Main restaurant in McPherson, Kansas. She has leased that venue and has moved to Kansas City to be closer to her daughter.
The staff at Mission Road Antique Mall — which only has three more years on its lease of the historic building that was once the Herbert Woolf horse barn — said Dobson has no plans to retain any of the dishes that Cavalcante has been serving in the 60-seat restaurant.
Cavalcante took over the restaurant inside the suburban antique mall from a previous tenant and quickly built a solid lunch business (attempts to try brunch service and special dinners were not successful). She is currently working on a cookbook of her most popular dishes served during her 15-year tenure at Bloomsbury Bistro.
Cavalcante was one of the last restaurateurs in the metro to continue to serve a Jello salad, which never fell out of favor at the intimate bistro. Since the announcement of Bloomsbury Bistro’s closing, the dining room has been packed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with longtime customers. There was a one-hour wait for a table yesterday.
“This has been incredibly bittersweet for me,” Cavalcante says. “I’m seeing so many faces of people who were so loyal to me over the years.”