KC Library hosts week of online panel discussions regarding the future of local dining

Online roundtables will be hosted by The Pitch's own Liz Cook

Screen Shot 2021 01 10 At 11.42.26 Pm

Bluestem. Beignet. Poi-O. The Rieger. The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic extends all too sadly to some of Kansas City’s most adored restaurants, from burger joints to fine food establishments, which permanently closed their doors over the past 10 months amid emptied tables and bars and devastated bottom lines. The local­ dining industry may never be the same.

Many more places have managed to hang on, if barely. New ones are opening. KC Restaurant Week arrives, as usual, this month—a January routine offering the definition of comfort food in uncomfortable, unfathomable times. With it comes an opportunity to take stock of the city’s dining scene.

In the first of a three-part lunchtime series coinciding with Restaurant Week, restaurateurs Kyo Yamanaka of the shuttered Gojo Japanese Steak House and Chrissy Nucum, owner of the Filipino-flavored KC Pinoy, assess what has been lost. Gojo, opened by Yamanaka’s father more than 42 years ago, is among more than three dozen local dining outlets that have shut their doors for good. While Nucum harbors hope of reopening KC Pinoy’s food truck, she closed its brick-and-mortar location in the West Bottoms in late September.

Yamanaka and Nucum will be chatting with ­restaurant critic Liz Cook of The Pitch.

Subsequent installments in the Library series, on Wednesday and Friday, January 13 and 15, will examine how surviving kitchens are adapting today and what the future might hold, respectively. You can expect to see panelists like Arvelisha Woods, India Pernell, Lucy Rieger, Austin Suedmeyer, Caitlin Corcoran, James Chang, and Cheetie Kumar.

Watch the noon presentations live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary.

Categories: Food & Drink