In terms of new businesses opening in Kansas City, 2014 is starting off with a bang. Bars, restaurants, specialty shops—the list of yet-to-open hotspots is getting long. If you’re having trouble keeping track of all of the good news, don’t worry—that’s why I’m here. I’ve compiled a list of the five new places I’m most excited about (and trust me — it was difficult to choose!). From champagne and spices to craft beer and oddities, there’s (most likely) something for everyone. Let’s explore, shall we?
4149 Pennsylvania, Kansas City
Think champagne is just for toasts and special occasions? Think again! Ça Va, a new Westport champagne bar set to open Friday, is all about celebrating the bubbly things in life.
“There’s this idea that champagne is holier than thou or elitist,” says Ça Va partner Justin Norcross in an interview with Recommended Daily. “I think we can dispel with that real fast.”
Two champagnes will be available by the glass, or opt for a rotating selection of sparkling wines. If you prefer your champagne in cocktail form, a classic round-up of champagne-based concoctions (including French 75 and Death in the Afternoon) will be available. Beer fans, don’t worry—you’ll be able to quench your thirst with that iconic brew, Miller High Life: the champagne of beers.
Ça Va will also feature mouthwatering nibbles, including a jambon plate created by Howard Hanna of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. For a fully French experience, order the raclette made with Green Dirt Farm’s Prairie Tomme.
It’s no exaggeration to say that I’m counting down the minutes until Ca Va’s grand opening (which, by the way, is at 5 p.m. on Friday). See you there? À la vôtre!
Season + Square
6205 Oak St., Kansas City
Season + Square is already open, so it’s a bit of a cheat. In my defense, however, it hasn’t been open long—and it’s such a great concept, I think you’ll love it, too. The Brookside spice and fine goods store carries a carefully curated array of goods created by artisans and small manufacturers throughout the U.S.
Browse the adorable space and you’ll find culinary treasures like Red Rooster Grinders and tempting Wondermade Marshmallows. Don’t forget to peruse the extensive spice collection, where you’ll find the perfect accompaniment for your next meal. And if you can’t get enough of Season + Square’s inventory, you can purchase a Founders Membership that includes storewide discounts, free shipping on orders over $75, cooking classes, farm-to-table dinners and more. With a deal like that, how could you not shop local?
Underdog Wine Co.
319 E. 55th St., Kansas City
I. Love. Wine. This is a fairly recent development (within the last three years) and, since then, I’ve been making up for lost time. The newest spot on my wine-seeking radar? Underdog Wine Co., the brainchild of Cellar Rat Wine Merchants co-founder Ryan Sciara.
After debating a concurrent job opportunity as regional manager with a wine importer, Ryan opted to open his own shop. Scheduled to open in March, Underdog Wine Co. will feature wines from what he described in the Kansas City Star as “underdog” vineyards instead of the everyday varieties you typically see in the grocery store.
Although the shop’s primary focus will be wine, craft beers and spirits will also be available. I’ll try and leave enough for you, but if Riesling’s involved, well, I can’t make any guarantees. Cheers!
Bridger’s Bottle Shop
510 Westport Rd., Kansas City
OK, OK. I know what you’re thinking. This is the third booze-centric pick. Do I even drink anything else? Of course I do. And here’s the kicker with this particular business: I don’t even like beer. (Once you’ve recovered from that blasphemous statement, come back and join me).
What I do like, however, are ambitious entrepreneurs and brilliant reuse of empty space, which is exactly what Bridger’s Bottle Shop offers. The beer lover’s haven will open in time for St. Patrick’s Day in the space formerly occupied by America’s Pub at Westport Rd. and Mill Street. In addition to carrying more than 600 cold beers that can be consumed on-site or taken home, Bridger’s Bottle Shop will also feature Preservation Market, created by The Local Pig’s Chef Alex Pope. If that sentence doesn’t immediately inspire drooling, think delicious sandwich concoctions like mojo pork, Swiss cheese, spicy cucumber pickles and raisin relish. Plus, Preservation Market will host regular beer dinners led by Pope and executive chef Andrew Heimburger.
Who knows? If I spend enough time here, maybe I’ll become a beer convert. I’ll keep you posted.
Oracle, Fine Curiosities
130 W. 18th St., Kansas City
So I’m cheating a little … again. Oracle, Fine Curiosities has been in business for the last six months. Business was so good, in fact, that co-owners Jane Almirall and Carrie Parker closed their shop in the Bauer Building to move to bigger digs across the street.
Once the new space is open, Oracle, Fine Curiosities will continue to offer a collection of mementos and oddities that reflect “the unique and strange side of the natural world,” according to the shop’s website. Shopping for a framed insect? Unusual taxidermy? Skulls? You’ll find them all—and more—at Oracle.
As Carrie and Jane so aptly wrote on the shop’s Facebook page, “Nothing says ‘I LOVE YOU’ like a jar of assorted teeth.” When you think about it, that sentiment makes perfect sense!
It’s going to be a busy spring in Kansas City, and I couldn’t be more ready to get out and support these amazing local businesses. What other shops and restaurants are on your soon-to-open list? Share the scoop and, in the meantime, I’ll see you out and about!