Dish and Drink KC: These restaurants closed during the pandemic. Now, diners can finally return.
Kansas City Restaurants are Reopening
After the most gut-wrenching, challenging year for restaurants in our lifetimes, restaurants and bars are at last being buoyed by the American Rescue Plan and the increasing availability of vaccines. In the past few weeks, many Kansas City restaurants that had been shuttered just for winter or even for months since the pandemic began, have cautiously been opening their doors to dine-in customers. Several owners have described to me how eager diners have been to get back to going out. One sign of semi-normalcy: reservations at the most desirable dining times are becoming more difficult to secure. The reopenings across the country have also led to some supply chain issues, including ones that are funny (ketchup shortages) and less funny (chicken liver shortages… ok, still kinda funny).
We should take a quick moment to totally fucking celebrate the return of some of our city’s greatest cultural institutions: the places we go on dates, where we meet with friends, where we unwind, and where so many of us work. While we should also celebrate those places that somehow managed to navigate the worst year by staying open, it’s a pleasure to deliver some good news. The below is a short-list of restaurants that have reopened in the past few weeks. Welcome back, old friends.
Ça Va – 4149 Pennsylvania Avenue, KCMO
The best little bubbles bar in the city is back after its winter hiatus, serving small bites, great wine, and one of the city’s best brunches.
Voltaire/the Golden Ox – 1600 and 1617 Genessee, KCMO
Down in the West Bottoms, Wes Gartner and Jill Myers have reopened both the iconic Kansas City steakhouse the Golden Ox, as well as the much-loved cocktail bar and bistro, Voltaire. How we’ve longed to sit at the bars at either of these classic spots, eating arancini or oysters, but now there are even more options: both also feature (or will soon feature) outdoor dining.
And just in case Gartner, Myers, and their staff weren’t busy enough, Lemonade Park has also reopened in the parking lot behind Voltaire, offering live music, food, and drinks in a socially distanced and comfortable setting. (Coming soon to the Ox: its own patio!).
The Campground – 1531 Genessee, KCMO
Indoor dining isn’t yet available at the Campground, but who needs it when there are cozy campfires, s’mores, outdoor private “cabins,” and a brand-new cocktail menu.
Poi-O – 800 South 7th Street
Chef Carlos Mortera is bringing Poi-O back in a bigger, better location in Argentine (Kansas City, Kansas) complete with a drive-thru window. Load back up on wood-roasted chickens, adobo ribs, kimchi fried rice, and amazing salsas starting in just a few weeks.
Harp Barbecue – 6515 Railroad Street, Raytown (Crane Brewing Company)
Starting this Saturday (April 10), fans of ridiculously enormous slices of juicy brisket, thick slabs of ribs, and tender pulled pork can once again venture to Crane Brewing Company for Harp Barbecue, served by chef Tyler Harp and his team. Harp continues to serve many of his offerings up on Caramelo pork fat tortillas—one of the more unexpected but divine local marriages we can think of.
Sauced – 1881 Main Street, KCMO
Sauced, the New York-style walk-up outdoor lunch counter at 18th & Main Street in the Crossroads, reopened its doors at the onset of the warmer weather. Still great: its smash burgers, pulled pork tacos, and of course, the fried chicken sandwiches.