Mission Taco Joint keeps rolling, Barley’s Brewhaus is now Barley’s Kitchen + Tap, Ostrea on the way, plus the week’s restaurant events

Slowly but steadily, Mission Taco Joint is inching closer to its buildout, along with International Tap House, at 1801 Oak in the Crossroads. That address, you’ll recall, was the unlikely endpoint of a car chase in November 2014, with the pursued vehicle causing the dramatic collapse of the building’s  southwest corner. It was subsequently purchased by developer Matt Abbott, who has seen delays to construction and repair due to permitting issues. At last, though, the road to tacos and beer seems to be clearing.

According to Adam Tilford, co-owner of Mission Taco Joint (which already has three popular locations in St. Louis), final approval for construction has been issued, and the repaired skeleton of the building is nearly complete. Tilford anticipates his tacos — barbecued duck, tofu and grilled nopales, brisket, al pastor, etc. — will hit early next year. Mission Taco Joint will use half of the first floor space, with International Tap House (or iTap), another St. Louis–based group, operating in the other half and also sharing some space. The two also occupy neighboring spaces in St. Louis’ hip Soulard neighborhood.

“It’s not really a partnership,” Tilford says. “more like a symbiotic relationship.” Which is to say that Mission’s alcohol menu centers on cocktails, and iTap doesn’t serve food.

Barley’s Brewhaus is working to step up its culinary game, and with it comes a new name: Barley’s Kitchen + Tap. The new branding for the two KC-area locations, one at 11924 West 119th Street and the other at 16649 Midland Drive in Shawnee, debuted last Tuesday.

“We opened 20-plus years ago and focused on a made-from-scratch menu and the best selection of beer in the area. We have continued to evolve and have become a more sophisticated restaurant concept,” says Chris Sutton, CEO of KC Hopps.

It’s hard to imagine that chef-restaurateur Erik Borger has time to breathe. He’s running both locations of his wood-fired-pizza spot Il Lazzarone, and his next project, twin ramen restaurants, is emerging. Komatsu just opened in St. Joseph, and KC’s Komatsu is imminent. Surely that’s enough for one person.

Yet it is not.

Borger has conceived yet another paired concept, this one called Ostrea, serving small plates centered on oysters, charcuterie and cheese, along with caviar, steak tartare and sweetbreads. The Kansas City location, he says, will open at 120 West Fifth Street, in the City Market, next year.

On the opposite end of the dining spectrum, Johnny Kaw’s is close to opening its second KC location at 504 Westport Road (bookending its Waldo operation, at 7439 Wornall Road). Johnny Kaw’s is a Manhattan, Kansas–based sports bar that’s all about volume. As its sign promises, that means “$2 Bottles Every Day,” to go with shots that top out around $5, with a whole boozy wall of bottles to choose from. The burger-or-chicken-tender baskets, with fries, are also $5. It’s the sort of place you might find yourself during the baseball postseason, as some of us did last year. It’s also the sort of place where the food is actually fresher and better than you figure it’s going to be.

Bread & Butter Concepts is preparing to open its third KC BRGR Kitchen & Bar, this time in Leawood at 5031 West 135th Street. BRGR’s two other locations are in the Power & Light District and in Corinth Square in Prairie Village. Bread & Butter hasn’t set an official date yet but estimates a mid-September opening.

This week’s restaurant events:

Thursday, September 8
Hank Charcuterie (1900 Massachusetts, Lawrence) and Crane Brewing, two institutions that can seem to do no wrong, are pairing up tonight for a dreamy five-course beer dinner. For $60 (not including tax and gratuity), sample candied beets with shaved foie gras and Green Dirt Farm Prairie Tomme on a baguette, grilled shrimp with pickled corn relish, a Belgian beer sausage, smoked head cheese with ricotta and grilled peaches, and a pine nut–and–white chocolate pudding paired with Crane’s Tea Weiss, Kumquat Weiss, Saison, Grapefruit Gose and Farmhouse IPA, respectively. Call 785-832-8688 for reservations.

Saturday, September 10
White Tail Run Winery and Vineyard (2327 North 400th Street, Edgerton) is harvesting its chambourcin grapes today — and will reward you for helping. The grapes, a hardy French-American hybrid, are ready to be clipped from their vines, and if you’re among the clippers, you’ll get a catered lunch and White Tail Run’s signature sangria. See whitetailrunwinery.com to sign up.

Sunday, September 11
Visit Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville) tonight for a “Live Fire Dinner” with Craig Jones, outdoor-cooking enthusiast, “Grill Mayor” winner (a distinction bestowed by Food Network and McCormick’s Spices) and owner of Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts. The multicourse dinner is meant to demonstrate the range of food that can be cooked outdoors over live fire. The dinner has sold out, but there’s a waiting list; call 816-697-2600. The dinner is $80 for members or $100 for nonmembers.

Food-truck fans, head to Macken Park in North Kansas City (Clark Ferguson Drive and Howell Street) earlier in the day for a festival, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can sample wares from Indios Carboncitos, Below Zero, CoffeeCakeKC, Plantain District, Helen’s on Wheels, Pip’s Burgers, KC Pinoy and American Fusion. Once you’ve finished your street food, test your skills on a nine-hole mini golf course.

Wednesday, September 14
Sullivan’s Steakhouse (4501 West 119th Street, Leawood) is featuring a wine dinner tonight hosted by master sommelier John Blazon, the vice president of sales for Spire Collection, the top tier of Jackson Family Wines of Sonoma County, California. The coursed dinner is $145, excepting tax and gratuity. Call 913-345-0800 for reservations.

A less pricy night out: the Pig & Pinot dinner at Louie’s Wine Dive (6701 West 119th Street, Overland Park). For $50 (excluding tax and gratuity), you get four pork-based courses from chef Phillip Peters, paired with Pinot Noir selections from around the world. Call 913-469-4177 for reservations.

Categories: Food & Drink