Dish & Drink KC: A new coffee shop opens at 40th and Main, a new chocolatier is making waves (and ice cream) in Blue Springs, and a sodamaker finds a home in Midtown

A photo of Transit Coffee in Kansas City

Check it out: Transit Coffee opens in Midtown

With Oddly Correct moving to 4141 Troost Avenue (opening this fall), there was a coffee bean-shaped hole left at the intersection of 40th and Main Streets. That prominent space didn’t remain vacant for long, though. As of this week, Transit Coffee is now welcoming customers from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. An announcement of its official opening is expected within the week.

Transit Coffee is owned by Ben White, a longtime fixture in KC’s coffee scene, along with two non-managing partners. He formerly worked at and managed Quay Coffee in the River Market, which transitioned into Thou Mayest. He also runs the mutual aid Instagram account, @baristakc, along with friends and colleagues, that supported baristas during the economically harshest months of the pandemic.

A photo of a breakfast sandwich from Transit Coffee

Photo courtesy of Transit Coffee

Transit Coffee currently serves drip coffee as well as a handful of specialty coffee drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos. It is a multi-roaster shop, meaning it sources roasted beans and coffee from a variety of different (and primarily local) specialty roasters. Currently, the shop’s coffee comes from Dogwood Coffee Company (Minneapolis) and a rotating food menu that includes breakfast sandwiches and pastries from Black Hole Bakery. Once the business has completed the approval process, customers will also be able to order beer, wine, and cocktails from the bar.

“With this shop,” says White, I hope to put the specialty coffee knowledge I learned through my years in the industry into practice together with the ethos and philosophy that drove what we did at Barista KC. We don’t roast our own coffee, we multi-roast. So currently we are serving coffees from Dogwood Coffee from Minneapolis; Methodical Coffee from Greeneville, South Carolina; and Hammerhand Coffee out of Liberty, Missouri. This will be an ever-evolving and rotating list of roasters and coffees.”

A photo of chocolates from Bliss Chocolatier

Photo Courtesy of Bliss Chocolatier

Sweet side: Bliss Chocolatier should be on your radar. It also now serves ice cream.

Earlier this year, Blue Springs’ Bliss Chocolatier (3100 MO-7), turned a lot of heads when it received a nod just before Valentine’s Day in the Washington Post. This is earned praise for chocolatier Jessica Washburn. She creates her chocolates, hazelnut caramels, bonbons, and candy bars with sustainable ingredients like couverture chocolate as well as fresh, local dairy, and produce. These things both taste great and happen to also be completely beautiful.

The stuff alone is worth a trip to Blue Springs. But if chocolate alone won’t do it (and it should), Washburn has been experimenting with and refining her ice cream recipes—a thing with a little extra appeal when the weather is punishingly hot like the past few days have been. Mint chip (made with real mint), fresh strawberry and blueberry, and even a vegan mango-passionfruit sorbet have been featured recently, but the menu will change with the season. Keep an eye on Bliss’ Instagram for new flavors and offerings.

Bliss Chocolatier is open Tuesday-Saturday from 12-6 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

A photo of Fancies Gin And Carrot Tonic

Fancies is here to stay. Photo by April Fleming

Now permanent: Ryan Miller and Fancies Sodas & Cocktails are here to stay at MiniBar

If you missed the month-long pop-up at miniBar (3810 Broadway Boulevard), you can now regularly see what soda maker and longtime bartender/beverage director Ryan Miller has been working on with his new neighborhood bar-meets-craft soda concept, Fancies Sodas & Cocktails. Originally intended to only run for a month beginning in mid-June, the pop-up bar, is now the permanent bar, with the blessing of Shawn Sherrill and Steve Tulipana, owners of miniBar and the RecordBar.

Fancies Soda & Cocktails features cocktails and craft sodas on tap, as well as made-to-order highbrow/lowbrow snacks like bourbon-butter popcorn and freshly-griddled hot dogs with house-made pickles. The intention, says Miller, was to create a template for a comfortable neighborhood bar that serves affordable but delicious food and drink.

With Fancies currently serving as a more permanent fixture at miniBar, Miller plans to continue with the menus he created for the pop-up. Customers can opt for cocktails like the carrot gin and tonic (pictured above), the whiskey and tonic, as well as a classic daiquiri and Miller’s excellent Old Fashioned. Miller’s craft sodas, enjoyed as is or made into a cocktail, are also available in flavors like beetroot tonic, carrot tonic, strawberry tonic, sarsaparilla, vanilla-bay, and celery and fennel.

miniBar is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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Categories: Food & Drink