Bluestem announces closure; will stop serving in mid-December

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The losses just keep coming to our food community amid pandemic.

Bluestem, after 17 wonderful years in the community, announced on Facebook that they’ll be closing down in mid-December, with its final day on Dec. 19.

The statement is below for those that don’t have Facebook and don’t want to click on the link above:

We have put much thought and care into our decision to part ways with our beloved restaurant on the corner of Westport Road. We have devoted many years to our craft, passion, and the growth of our first restaurant. As our lease term has reached an end, we are choosing to take this opportunity for change that will allow us to devote more time to our children, to nurture our other two restaurants Rye Plaza and Rye Leawood, and to potentially explore new projects.

Bluestem has always been an extension of our home. We’ve seen our children grow up throughout the years running around the restaurant and have hosted countless life celebrations with our family, staff, and guests, nightly, around our tables.

Our most cherished memories will forever be the relationships we’ve made through Bluestem – with our staff, past and present; our guests; and our local community, Kansas City. If our walls could talk, they would share heartwarming stories of weddings we’ve hosted, staff holiday parties, new babies, engagements, wine dinners, tea parties, guest chef dinners, surprise parties, holiday events, corporate toasts, birthday parties, Valentine dates, and countless other moments. Indeed, the years have been very good and very full. It is with this celebratory spirit that we close Bluestem.

Our restaurant would have not been more than a dream without the many hands and the support of our family, our treasured employees, our local farmers, our peers in hospitality, our purveyors, and the talented wine, beer and spirit makers who all had a part in our dining room and the experiences we gave to our guests.

Humbled and unexpected by the local and national accolades we’ve received throughout the years, including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef, a James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest, and multiple James Beard Foundation nominations for Outstanding Restaurant and Outstanding Pastry Chef, we would be amiss not to mention with special gratitude the many people who have helped lead our kitchen, dining room, and bar, who cheered us on and helped carve our way; Dave Crum, Bill Espiricueta, John Brogan, Ryan Williams, Joe West, Andrew Longres, Jacob Moeller, Josh Walker, Josh Laufketter, Kate Weiser., Laura Comer, Kelly Conway, Jessica Armstrong, Lyndsi DeMiccio, Jeremy Lamb, Jeff Cambiano, Taylor Tantillo, Van Zarr, Lazer Avery, and the talented cooks, dishwashers, servers, bartenders, and hosts too many to name. To our business partners at Rye Jeff and Joy Stehney for their continued support. Lastly and certainly not least a special thanks to our cookbook author, photographer, travel officiant, and friend through the years, Bonjwing Lee.

In the earliest days, we set out knocking on the door of local press with our first printed menus tucked under our arm to share our story and get the word out about our little Bluestem. Long before social media and public relations, we were just a husband and wife team trying to attract anyone who would listen to come dine with us. Who knew our efforts and passion would take us around the world to cook and bake what we love. It has been an incredible adventure, and we are immensely grateful for it.

With heartache and joy,
Colby and Megan Garrelts


Categories: Dining