Uptown Theatre district improvements

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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chrizow
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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by chrizow » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:38 am

I think that take is kind of stupid. i agree that there is a proliferation of generic, "birch & barrel" restaurants out there, which is not great but it's true in every city. the question is whether KC can still deliver above and beyond this level of restaurant - and i think it clearly does.

krokstrom, unfortunately, was a really expensive (some say overpriced) niche place in a pretty unlikely location for such a concept. it is sad but not surprising at all that it did not make it. i don't think it's a reflection on KC as a whole and it's a stretch to extrapolate some fundamental failure about KC based on krokstrom.

interesting, independent, or "chef-driven" places seem to open in KC all the time. i honestly don't know how all of them stay afloat.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by WSPanic » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:59 am

Krokstrom also failed a concept in Parlor. I'll wait and see how some of the other "weird chef driven" restaurants do before sounding the death knell for the KC food scene. Pot Pie and Blue Stem are on a shittier corner in the same general neighborhood and have been alive and kicking for years. Other places like Rieger, Novel, etc. are pretty good "chef driven" places that manage to do alright while NOT insinuating on Facebook that we're the problem - not them.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:07 am

I agree that Krokstrom's failure is not at all an indictment of the food scene in general. The headline is clickbait.

The place wasn't good enough for special occasions, wasn't consistent enough to merit frequent visits, and was far too focused on the Scandinavian concept in a city that has no noticeable Scandinavian culture (aka "stop trying to make aquavit happen").

My last meal there was underwhelming and it was only on my radar because were headed to a show at the Uptown. I liked that it was an option, but there's too much competition and it just wasn't good enough for the price point.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:28 am

The most popular restaurants in neighborhoods where the income demographics are pretty high and popular with suburban people are all run by local restaurant groups. - People who live in South OP/Leawood, Lees Summit, Southland areas might only venture to these neighborhoods when they are going to the "City" so these people are just getting the same generic dining experience in the city as in the suburbs

Summit Grill or the Well or Lews (Waldo)
Red Door Grill (Brookside)
Graham and Dun or another place bread and butter place (Plaza)

I find all of these places pretty damn generic

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by beautyfromashes » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:35 am

I don’t know if the concept was right for that location. The main draw should be people going to a concert across the street who want to eat before the show. While underwhelming, I’d guess that’d be pizza or Mexican or something quick and basic. This would also ring true with the hotel going up across the street.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:01 am

I agree the location was probably wrong but I think the people running it didn't know how to run a business, why not cut back costs and lower prices instead of going full out organic and local. I also found the chef's husband who was the manager very unfriendly. He seemed to care more about sitting on his laptop drinking at the bar than be inviting or welcoming customers.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by earthling » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:25 am

Broadway Grille was a highly successful chef-driven restaurant in the 90s on that stretch, even attracted Mission Hills socialites, but there were fewer chef-driven restaurants then. A lot of restaurants fail because none involved have enough business savvy to make it work, such as making dishes too complex to economically break even or pricing higher than the dish is worth.

Kromstrom seemed to have both of these issues.

I saw DDD and she showed the prep involved for a dish. It looked possibly too complex to break even in a restaurant. I cook some pretty complex Thai dishes that couldn't economically work in a restaurant. But someone with enough biz savvy might find the right balance.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by smh » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:28 am

I think a quality pizza place would do quite well on that corner. Get all the neighborhood and concert traffic. Offer high-quality 'za and perhaps the whole city will eventually arrive.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by taxi » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 pm

People on this board, and everywhere else, are quick to point out why a restaurant fails and/or claim that a restaurant is successful. Appearances can be deceiving. You might think they are doing well when, in fact, they may be struggling and about to close. Same logic for when you think they may be failing. There are so many factors involved, especially with small places. Running a quality restaurant is incredibly complex.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:46 pm

taxi wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 pm
People on this board, and everywhere else, are quick to point out why a restaurant fails and/or claim that a restaurant is successful. Appearances can be deceiving. You might think they are doing well when, in fact, they may be struggling and about to close. Same logic for when you think they may be failing. There are so many factors involved, especially with small places. Running a quality restaurant is incredibly complex.
Hours of operation
Staffing issues (too few, too many, bad managers, absentee owners)
Quality of the cooks
Menus not designed for quick service, especially at lunch
Rent increases
Outgrowing a space or trying to grow too fast
Distractions into too many businesses (running as a second business, not focusing on food at the expense of live music)
Alcohol vs not offering
Kid friendly difference relative to peers
Types of service offered (counter, sit down, fine dining, carryout)
Catering vs not (catering can provide profits as you buy food with more bulk discounts for greater profit but is hard to do also)
General interest in the type of cuisine
Quality of the food relative to the price (type of ingredients and their freshness)
Reviews impacts
Demand relative to the economics of the area
Access issues (think of the restaurants once inside City Center Square)
Signage, visibility, marketing and promotions not working
Personality of the place (compare Jack Stack to Joe's)
Inability or unwillingness to update the menu
Focus on promotions that bring in customers but don't pay the bills
Dated decor
Too fancy
Dirty and worn
Disconnect with cultural expectations for the area (selling Texas style BBQ in KC)
Cultural disconnects with the food (someone selling a type of food who doesn't know what it should taste like)

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by earthling » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:56 pm

One variable that has changed is a lot more restaurants in the city, possibly growing at a faster rate than % of population. It's also pretty common for niche and 'trendy' restaurants to survive only a few years in any city, even in wealthy areas.

Lots of factors of course but looking at the prep involved for Krokstrom with no shortcuts, they probably had to price high to make it work and the end result was good and unique but not really worth the high price.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by brewcrew1000 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:09 pm

taxi wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 pm
People on this board, and everywhere else, are quick to point out why a restaurant fails and/or claim that a restaurant is successful. Appearances can be deceiving. You might think they are doing well when, in fact, they may be struggling and about to close. Same logic for when you think they may be failing. There are so many factors involved, especially with small places. Running a quality restaurant is incredibly complex.
One restaurant that seems to be really innovative and they aren't afraid to fail/try new things and i think it has a loyal following as a result is Affare. They offer 44 dollar 3 course dinners thursday, they have wine dinners on occasion, they do that amazing dessert table that is kind of like art, they are offering a new sunday night dinner for 25 bucks, you can buy packs of there homemade brats, they have a good kids menu for being somewhat upscale, they offer unilmited mimosas at brunch
There newest idea they have is bar/tapas place inside the restaurant, basically a restaurant inside a restaurant. I think the husband and wife really work there asses off and they get creative in creating new revenue streams. They are very friendly and personable people

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by smh » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:37 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:09 pm
taxi wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 pm
People on this board, and everywhere else, are quick to point out why a restaurant fails and/or claim that a restaurant is successful. Appearances can be deceiving. You might think they are doing well when, in fact, they may be struggling and about to close. Same logic for when you think they may be failing. There are so many factors involved, especially with small places. Running a quality restaurant is incredibly complex.
One restaurant that seems to be really innovative and they aren't afraid to fail/try new things and i think it has a loyal following as a result is Affare. They offer 44 dollar 3 course dinners thursday, they have wine dinners on occasion, they do that amazing dessert table that is kind of like art, they are offering a new sunday night dinner for 25 bucks, you can buy packs of there homemade brats, they have a good kids menu for being somewhat upscale, they offer unilmited mimosas at brunch
There newest idea they have is bar/tapas place inside the restaurant, basically a restaurant inside a restaurant. I think the husband and wife really work there asses off and they get creative in creating new revenue streams. They are very friendly and personable people
Not to mention selling sausages to KC Bier Co., IIRC. All revenue generators!

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by flyingember » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:51 pm

Anton's also does some things well. (at least when we went)

On pricing you can go in and it's really easy to not spend too much and it's also really easy to feel like you're getting value by spending more. So their upsells come naturally as a part of the experience.

Their non-restaurant business of selling meat doesn't get in the way of their core business and improves it. It enables product turnover so they don't have as much waste and the resulting loss of profit.

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WSPanic
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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by WSPanic » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:18 pm

smh wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:37 pm
brewcrew1000 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:09 pm
taxi wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:16 pm
People on this board, and everywhere else, are quick to point out why a restaurant fails and/or claim that a restaurant is successful. Appearances can be deceiving. You might think they are doing well when, in fact, they may be struggling and about to close. Same logic for when you think they may be failing. There are so many factors involved, especially with small places. Running a quality restaurant is incredibly complex.
One restaurant that seems to be really innovative and they aren't afraid to fail/try new things and i think it has a loyal following as a result is Affare. They offer 44 dollar 3 course dinners thursday, they have wine dinners on occasion, they do that amazing dessert table that is kind of like art, they are offering a new sunday night dinner for 25 bucks, you can buy packs of there homemade brats, they have a good kids menu for being somewhat upscale, they offer unilmited mimosas at brunch
There newest idea they have is bar/tapas place inside the restaurant, basically a restaurant inside a restaurant. I think the husband and wife really work there asses off and they get creative in creating new revenue streams. They are very friendly and personable people
Not to mention selling sausages to KC Bier Co., IIRC. All revenue generators!
I believe they do sausages for a lot of local restaurants. Pretty sure they do The Corner too.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by kcjak » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:50 am

Cafe Trio was successful a half block away from Krokstrom, and the Vietnamese restaurant (I-Pho Tower?) somehow manages to stay afloat, as did the Ethiopian fusion place in the strip mall. All of those places could be considered overpriced, but the owners make them work. Once the apartments above the strip mall, in the MGE building and the Red Cross building come on line, there will be hundreds of potential customers within blocks - a decent restaurant should kill it if done right.

FWIW I'd love to see Broadway Butcher open in the Krokstrom location and have both the butcher shop and restaurant a la Anton's.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:44 am

Why doesn’t Mesop take the Krokstrom location?

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WSPanic
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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by WSPanic » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:13 pm

I love Mesob. Wasn't sure what their fate would be with the re-development going on. I think the Krokstrom space is a bit big for them. I understand their last place was decent-sized, but I imagine the rent of that shitty spot was bit less than what is expected at that Krokstrom space.

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by brewcrew1000 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:19 pm

WSPanic wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:13 pm
I love Mesob. Wasn't sure what their fate would be with the re-development going on. I think the Krokstrom space is a bit big for them. I understand their last place was decent-sized, but I imagine the rent of that shitty spot was bit less than what is expected at that Krokstrom space.
You know that spot would have probably been great for Ragazza but they went thru with that lengthy remodel on Main Street, i've heard mixed things about the remodel/move

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Re: Uptown Theatre district improvements

Post by smh » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:08 am

brewcrew1000 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:19 pm
WSPanic wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:13 pm
I love Mesob. Wasn't sure what their fate would be with the re-development going on. I think the Krokstrom space is a bit big for them. I understand their last place was decent-sized, but I imagine the rent of that shitty spot was bit less than what is expected at that Krokstrom space.
You know that spot would have probably been great for Ragazza but they went thru with that lengthy remodel on Main Street, i've heard mixed things about the remodel/move
I've been to Ragazza 3 times now since the move. The vibe is a touch different than the original of course because the original was basically a bar and a couple of tables. Despite the larger new space, the food, service, and atmosphere have all been great on each visit.

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