East Meets North
There’s already a Stroud’s Restaurant & Bar (see review) in the Northland, so we can probably rule out the bustling Zona Rosa shopping mecca as a potential site for a new Stroud’s for owner Mike Donegan.
But Zona Rosa has lured another celebrity restaurateur to its little faux “village” of shops, bars and eating joints: Richard Ng, the workaholic owner of the four local Bo Ling’s Chinese restaurants. Ng and his wife, Theresa, also own a Bo Ling’s in Florida in addition to the original venue at 9055 Metcalf in Overland Park and the satellite locations in south Overland Park and Lenexa and on the Country Club Plaza. “So many customers kept asking me when I was going to open a restaurant north of the river,” says Richard Ng, “that I decided that I should do it.”
Ng scouted several locations before leasing the corner building (across from Barnes & Noble) briefly occupied by the Flat Wok Mongolian Grill. He’s had a construction crew working on the space since last summer, and his publicist, Linda Rostenberg, insists that the new Bo Ling’s will be open “just any minute now.” But as recently as last week, plastic sheeting was still taped to most of the windows, and much finishing work remained uncompleted. “We’re still doing painting and tiling,” Ng says, “but I’m tentatively planning on opening on November 30.”
This new Bo Ling’s will be about the same size as the other five restaurants and will offer the same menu of both Chinese-American and traditional Chinese dishes — but no dim sum, which is offered only on weekends at the two busiest dining rooms, the Plaza and Metcalf locations. Ng says the interior décor of the new space will be strikingly modern, with shiny granite floors, plenty of natural wood and glass light fixtures he discovered on a recent trip to China.
Knowing that Zona Rosa doesn’t necessarily believe in offering exclusivity to its culinary tenants (there are two steakhouses and two barbecue joints), one wonders if Bo Ling’s will be the only Chinese restaurant in the center. “They would not guarantee that,” says Ng, who doesn’t seem too concerned. He does, after all, have one of the most visible corner spaces in the whole complex. And 2006 is supposed to be a lucky year in Chinese astrology: the Year of the Dog begins January 29. If the doors finally open soon, Ng can celebrate two New Year’s Eves in his new place. And that’s something to bark about.