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Restaurants & Bars 11

Three big Kansas City Midtown closings...

jane | Jul 20, 200212:50 PM

I'm a little late posting some of this news, but it's probably worth noting for folks who sometimes visit Kansas City and look forward to visiting some popular restaurants. Just wanted to let people know of recent big-news closings.

Metropolis (on Westport Road between Broadway and Main) closed in April. After 13 years, the owner decided to throw in the towel citing the economy, equipment breakdowns, a glut of upscale to middle level chain restaurants coming into the Midtown area and generalized exhaustion from trying to hang on. The tiny spot will be missed by those who enjoyed innovative contemporary cuisine and stunning presentations.

Stolen Grill (on Westport Road just east of Southwest Trafficway) closed with little notice on June 20. The five-year-old bistro had gained a terrific reputation and the closing came as a big shock to many. The owner decided he wanted to pursue other interests.

Café Allegro, the restaurant responsible for making 39th Street a trendy restaurant row, closed in late June. Owner Steve Cole looks to spend more time with his young daughter and explore other opportunities -- perhaps outside the restaurant biz. Cole took a drubbing from many people 18 years ago when he opened the handsome, upscale restaurant along a street filled with empty storefronts, a few rough bars, a seedy Chinese restaurant (burned down more than a decade ago), and more than a few prostitutes and drug dealers. But Cole persisted and eventually folks took a chance to travel to Cafe Allegro. The rest is history. The restaurant eventually earned Zagat and Wine Spectator awards and Cole was named Missouri Restaurateur of the Year.

Today the three block strip contains more than 20 eateries, including fine dining Italian, a couple of casual Italian spots, a Mongolian grill, a noodle and dumpling shop, a home-cooking cafe, a couple of popular bar and grill venues, a vegetarian restaurant, a pizzeria/deli, plus other ethnic spots including Vietnamese, Cajun, Chinese/Korean, Indian, Mediterranean, a French-inspired bistro, three coffeehouses, plus a bookshop, vintage stores, and many other popular shops. The surrounding neighborhood has also become an ultra-cool place to buy a house or rent an apartment. All of this thanks to the foresightedness of Steve Cole.

At this time, it looks like Joe DeGiovanni, owner of the nifty Joe D's Wine Bar Cafe in the Brookside district, will debut a new restaurant in the Cafe Allegro location later in the year.

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