Dish & Drink KC: Two restaurants return to Kansas City amidst a rough week
The Good News: Two restaurants reopen in Brookside and Waldo
First for the good news: Chef Charles D’Ablaing has reopened his much-loved Brookside Poultry Company in its brand-new location at 751 East 63rd Street. D’Ablaing had planned his move down the street several months ago, but Covid got in the way of plans and timing. Yet, thankfully, once again customers can line up/call in for spit-roasted chicken, sour cream-brined fried chicken, biscuits, fried green tomatoes, and more. More good news: D’Ablaing still plans to open sister restaurant Brookside Beef Company, in an adjacent location, in the coming months. Brookside Poultry Company is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can also order online here.
Just south of Brookside Poultry Company on 75th Street, another restaurant makes a return this week. On Thursday at 3 p.m., Waldo will welcome back Boru Asian Eatery, formerly known as Boru Ramen. The restaurant is reopening in its remodeled original location at 500 West 75th Street. This time around the focus will be more broad, with less of a focus on ramen (though a couple of options will still be available) with dishes like Dan Dan noodles, rice bowls, and fresh spring rolls. Its much-loved bao buns, thankfully, are on the new menu. Boru will be open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner every day, with carryout and curbside options available.
Also, out in Lawrence, Torchy’s Tacos opens today at 10 a.m. out at 3050 Iowa Street. This is the second area location of the Austin-based taco chain, which opened in Kansas City at Ward Parkway Pavilion over the summer.
The bad news: Two high-profile restaurants are closing
We can’t and shouldn’t avoid reminding Kansas Citians that things remain decidedly *not fine* out there. The Trump administration’s disastrous response to the pandemic and Congress’ inability to get its shit together on a second relief package have spelled disaster for small businesses, particularly restaurants, bars, and events spaces. As we head towards winter and with local cases on the rise despite less testing, we should not expect the situation to improve soon.
This week, chef Howard Hanna and his flagship restaurant, the Rieger (1900 Main Street) announced that it will be closing after its service on October 31. Particularly after Hanna and his crew spent months offering free meals to the community, the news of this high-profile closing is plain salt in the wound. Hanna has left the door open to the possibility of reopening in the future, but this is by no means a certain thing. Do check out this great piece from Gina Kauffman at KCUR about the closing of the Rieger, and note that you still have about 2 weeks to get in an order of pork soup and a great steak. And keep an eye on the Rieger’s facebook page for announcements about some planned events ahead of the closing. The J. Rieger & Co. Distillery remains open for business.
The Rieger wasn’t the only restaurant to make a big announcement this week. Black Sheep (1815 West 39th Street) has closed permanently as of last weekend. The Michael Foust-helmed farm-to-table diner connected lots of Kansas Citians with farm fresh ingredients, and it served one of the best vegan dishes I’ve ever had (the acorn squash pictured below). Foust and his team also spent months offering pay-what-you-can dishes, and this loss is another significant moment and should be taken as a harbinger.
It is never too late to support the restaurants you love, and though we are all experiencing virus fatigue, don’t take these cultural institutions for granted because once they’re gone, they really are gone. Order takeout at least once this week if you do not feel comfortable eating indoors, and if you can afford to do so. It is also worth taking the time to remind our representatives and senators that restaurants and bars need a relief package. And please, for fuck’s sake, vote.