Black-owned restaurants, new openings and other happenings from the KC food scene this month.
As Black Lives Matter protests surge throughout the country, many are showing their support by putting their dollars into Black-owned businesses. COVID-19 did a number on the restaurant industry, and the pandemic has disproportionately affected African Americans. So it follows that Black-owned restaurants, in particular, could use some extra love—now and always. Fortunately, we have an abundance of Black-owned restaurants offering delicious food. Soul food fans should seek out King’s Table Soul Food (5932 Prospect Ave., KCMO) or Niecie’s Restaurant (6441 Troost Ave., KCMO). Blue Nile Cafe (20 E. Fifth St., KCMO) has some of the best Ethiopian in town, and G’s Jamaican Cuisine (7940 Troost Ave., KCMO) does a mean Caribbean jerk chicken. Fannie’s African & Tropical Cuisine (4105 Troost Ave., KCMO) serves up traditional food from all parts of Africa. Vegans can get their fix at Happy Apple Cafe (5536 Troost Ave., KCMO). For a gut-busting breakfast, get the fried chicken, egg, bacon and donut sandwich at Brown Sugar Chicken & Donuts (3708 State Ave., KCK). This is just a sampling of the Black-owned restaurants that deserve your attention. There are also several great lists of local Black-owned restaurants circulating online, including from monthly tabloids Feast and The Pitch.
Some Old, Some New
After weeks of quarantine, Kansas City restaurants are slowly reopening their dining rooms and patios for dine-in service. While some restaurants cautiously opened their doors mid-May, June saw a greater influx of reopenings as the citywide restrictions on businesses gradually relaxed. In Missouri, restaurants must space tables six feet apart and servers must wear face masks. In Kansas, restrictions vary by county.
Shortly thereafter, a handful of new places opened their doors for the first time ever: On the Plaza, Chinese restaurant Duck & Roll; in Overland Park, NKC favorite Tay’s Burger Shack opened a second location; Verdigris, an upscale cocktail lounge from the team at The Monarch Bar, debuted in Johnson County; and Blackhole Bakery on Troost is offering up classic French pastries and homemade bagels.
A Permanent Farewell
Unfortunately, a few businesses are not returning post-quarantine. In the Crossroads, we said goodbye to long-standing sushi joint Nara, as well as seasonal fine dining restaurant Webster House, which opened in 2002. On the Plaza, Parkway Social shuttered, and south of the Plaza, Nick and Jake’s on Main closed. Sobahn, one of the first Korean restaurants in the metro, ended its eleven-year run in Overland Park.