Waldo Spring Fling And Brookside Art Annual This Weekend!

People, get ready for lots of arts, crafts and outdoor socializing this weekend!

The first ever Waldo Spring Fling is Saturday 4/30 from 10-5 at the NE corner of Wornall and Gregory. This event is in conjunction with The Strawberry Swing, an indie craft fair that has been an annual celebration since 2011 with pop ups around the city. The Strawberry Swing has an online marketplace as well as a traditional brick and mortar store at 3630 Main St. The Waldo Spring Fling will feature several craft vendors, food trucks, live music and … just wander over to find out what else there is to browse through!

And the summer festival season also kicks off this weekend (April 29-May 1) with the 36th Brookside Art Annual, at 63rd St and Brookside Blvd. There will be plenty of art, jewelry, pottery and other interesting handmade items for sale, along with food booths and childrens’ activities Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Hours are 5-9pm Friday, 10am-9pm Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday.

Be sure to watch for extra pedestrians around these events over the weekend and thank you for supporting local!!

Brookside Farmers’ Market Open for the 2022 Season

It’s growing season!! The Brookside Farmers’ Market is officially open for the 2022 season, at HJ’s Community Center, 6425 Wornall.

Now open every Saturday from 8am-1pm, you’ll find something different each week, There’s usually always locally grown fresh meat, fresh baked goods, some produce, herbs and flowers. Bring the kids; don’t forget tote bags for your goodies and splurge on some tasty foods you just won’t find in the grocery store. Thank you for supporting local!

New Restaurant Alert! Brady and Fox Now Open in Brookside East

Graham Fox Farris and Shaun Paul Brady, Co Owners of Brady and Fox

If you’ve ever walked into an Irish pub, you know that  special, chummy  feeling of “ahh… time to relax, sip a drink or two, order some pub food and open up the conversation!”.  That’s the vibe co-owners Shaun Paul Brady and Graham Fox Farris have created at their new restaurant and bar in East Brookside, Brady and Fox.  Farris is from Olathe, and Brady is from Nenagh, in the county of Tipperary, Ireland. They met many years ago when Farris was in culinary school at Johnson County Community College; Brady has worked at several restaurants (you may remember his old place on Troost, Brady’s Public House). Graham and Shaun instantly became close friends and decided to pair up on this new venture.  They wanted to keep Brady in the name, and added Fox to honor Farris’ mother as it was her maiden name. 

Business has been strong and steady, owing to the owners’ friendliness (Brady makes a point of greeting every table), fresh, tasty food  and the relaxed atmosphere. Come in to enjoy a hearty pub style meal (the most popular items are the Traditional Fish ‘n Chips, Steak and Guinness Pie, the homemade sausage rolls and scotch egg).  Graham says “just about everything here is made from scratch…well, not the ketchup!” and there’s even an emphasis on homemade desserts:  Irish Coffee Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding and Irish Farms Liqueur  Crème Brulee.  Or, have a seat in the lounge area  with friends for a whiskey tasting:  Shaun stocks over 50 varieties at this time.  He supports local distilleries as well; you’ll find Boulevard on tap and Riegers, Mean Mule, and  Restless Spirits liquors.  There are two separate bars if you feel like stopping in for a quick one; or spend some time on the outdoor patio with a pint and sandwich.

 Shaun told me “One of my dreams is for this place to bring back the family meal” .  He and his wife have  two young children  and he  relishes when he and the family can go out together for dinner and conversation.  Watch for an expanded menu in the next week or so and a children’s menu.  “I am super thrilled to be back in this neighborhood, “ Shaun says, “So happy to see old friends here and meet new ones from the area”. Brady and Fox’s hours are 11am-11pm Tuesday through Saturday; after Easter they will open 10-4 on Sundays.

Race This Saturday Will Snarl Traffic in Brookside

The Rock the Parkway Race is happening this Saturday morning, April 9, 2022. It starts at Burns and McDonnell near Bannister and Wornall and continues through Ward Parkway, around Loose Park and Brookside. There is a 5K and half marathon, starting at 7:30am..

I’m posting the route here; be aware and avoid these streets Saturday morning, vehicles will not be able to get through!

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day Early in Brookside This Saturday

*UPDATE!* Due to weather conditions, the Parade has been rescheduled for Saturday March 19 at 1pm. The route remains the same.*

It’s been two years since the parade happened in Brookside (and you know why) so this year’s celebration will be extra special: people want to get outside and socialize! Plus this is the 40th anniversary of the event, officially called the St. Patrick’s Day Warm Up Parade.

One of the things I like best about this parade is you can get pretty close to see all the floats, musicians, dancers, cars and participants along the route. Over 100 businesses and organizations are participating, so there is a lot to see! This is a family affair and everyone is welcome. The parade starts at 2pm Saturday March 12; be aware that several Brookside streets will be blocked off before 2pm for staging and crowd control. Watch for strollers and pedestrians! I’m posting the parade route below.

Plan on spending Saturday in Brookside! Support our local businesses by coming early for breakfast or lunch; stay after for a beverage, dinner or shopping. It will surely be a festive atmosphere all day Saturday in Brookside!

Waldo Week Happening Feb 17-25, 2022

What is there to do on a snow day? Celebrate another Waldo Week! Very understandable if you stay in today, though. This event promotes our locally owned businesses in Waldo and encourages you to explore places you may not be familiar with. Waldo Week starts today, February 17 and runs through Friday Feb 25, 2022. So plenty of time to take advantage of the specials!

Several businesses are offering special discounts over these dates, including CoWork Waldo, Hawthorne and Ivy, SOAP Refill Station, Mike’s Wine and Spirits and Strips Chicken. , Eclectics, The Well, and Lew’s Bar and Grill. In addition, there will be a virtual auction happening online with proceeds going to Happy Bottoms diaper resource. Many participating businesses will also offer diaper drop off bins if you would like to help out that way.

This is the seventh annual Waldo Week–make plans to take advantage of special deals and support our locally owned businesses! More info, and a complete list of participants, at the Waldo business association site.

Feel Like A Massage? Try Crossing Paths Massage Therapy

“Treat yo’self” – one of the memorable lines from the TV series Parks and Recreation.  We all feel the need to pamper ourselves every so often, and there’s a new massage therapy studio in Brookside that will do just that!  Crossing Paths Massage Therapy opened recently in east Brookside,  at 751 E 63rd St.

When I heard about Crossing Paths, I had tto indulge in a massage for myself—research for the blog of course! I had the basic 60 minute relaxation massage, and it was…wonderful!  A couple of days later I called Stephanie Cross, the owner, for more information about her and her business.

Stephanie Cross

Stephanie started as a nail technician, yet always had it in the back of her mind that she also wanted to do massage therapy.  She enrolled at WellSpring School of Allied Health (massage therapy is their main program) and graduated in September 2019.  While working at The Elms Hotel  and Spa, she decided to open her own studio as well after seeing a friend’s space in the building—“I really like the vibe of Brookside”.  She also wanted to make more of a personal connection with her clients, as the people she sees at the Elms are more transient.  “I have seen the change massage therapy can make in your life and wanted to offer those services to regular customers”. 

Stephanie offers 60, 90 and 120 minute relaxation and therapeutic massages.  All include hot towels and aromatherapy.  She offers add-ons including  foot and back scrubs, CBD  and cupping therapy.  Services are offered Saturday through Tuesday, and gift certificates are available (still looking for a Valentine’s day gift??).  The studio entrance is on the south side of the building, easily accessible on the ground floor and right next to the covered (free) parking garage.  The best way to reach Stephanie is via text (417 894 2456) or  her Facebook or Instagram (@crossingpathslmt) page.  Mention this blog post and get $10 off your first massage, valid through June 1st.

Next time you need to treat yo’self, try Crossing Paths—another locally owned and operated Brookside business!

The Classic Cookie Reopens in Waldo

You may have heard that Waldo’s beloved Classic Cookie has reopened again under new ownership. It’s true—and the new owners are ready to welcome you back into this warm and cozy neighborhood café with a new menu and redesigned interior. 

Bryan Sparks and Hailey Allen

Owners (and engaged couple) Bryan Sparks and Hailey Allen, along with Anthony Quirarte, purchased the business  last November.  Both Bryan and Hailey have extensive restaurant experience: Bryan as the Executive Chef of True Food Kitchen, and Hailey has worked with her chef/father.   The duo started a meal prep service that was so successful they expanded to catering events.   They were renting a commissary by the hour but wanted their own kitchen, so when Bryan’s family saw that the Classic Cookie space was available—they jumped on it. With help from family and friends, Hailey and Bryan redesigned and remodeled the space themselves: moving the main counter, adding a full expresso bar, revising the menu and adding a a few more seats.  Plenty of sun streams in to accent the light wood surfaces and white walls; tables are set with fresh flowers and cloth napkins and diners are greeted with a sincere hello! The restaurant has that loose, friendly, local corner spot vibe. Even the background music changes to set the mood! 

Now a few words about the food…  Classic Cookie is open for breakfast and lunch.  Just about everything is made from scratch:  a pastry chef bakes fresh breads, cookies, granola and other sweet treats, and locally sourced produce and meats are used as much as possible (easier in the spring and summer growing season). Hailey says the menu items are priced to be “approachable for any budget” – you can get half orders of several menu options.  When I asked Hailey if the cookies are the same as in the “original” restaurant, she explained  they were given ingredients for the cookies, but no measurements!  So they are experimenting with different combinations. ( I noticed the cookies are much larger than before!).  The beloved chicken salad is the same though, and  Parisi coffee is served. 

Something else the new owners are planning: once a month special dinners, collaborating with local chefs.  They have a special Valentine’s dinner planned on February 14, with two seatings offered at 5 and 8pm.  For $75 per person, you’ll enjoy a four course meal with wine pairings!  The earlier seating is almost sold out—so if interested, make reservations soon.  The Classic Cookie can also be rented out for private evening functions.  Hailey and Bryan are very excited to have this new space; “The feedback from the customers has been wonderful “ Hailey says, “we are overjoyed with the reception we’ve been getting from the neighborhood”.

Treat yourself to a meal at Classic Cookie soon—you’ll feel right at home once you walk in and a friendly server greets you.  Take out and delivery are also available.  Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 7am-2pm and Saturday/Sunday hours are 7am-3pm.  The Classic Cookie is located at 409 West Gregory.

Waldo Welcomes Back Price Chopper Grocery Store at 85th and Wornall

Have you stopped in the newly remodeled Price Chopper grocery store in Waldo?  It’s worth a visit! We now have a large, full service grocery with all the extras to serve our neighborhood…just like the suburbs.

The new Waldo Price Chopper at 8430 Wornall
David Bardwell

After a complete remodel, this store at 8430 Wornall reopened December 8.  Inside you’ll see new coolers and freezers, updated  lighting and flooring and peppy pop music piped through the speakers.  There’s a bakery, deli, liquor dept, large meat counter, pharmacy (COVID shots available!)  and prepared food section next to a café.  I recently spoke with David Bardwell, Store Director, about the special features of the remodel.  “We have a very nice meat department, and the butchers will do special cuts for customers in advance.  Our sushi counter is unique to this area—it’s owned and operated by a privately owned company that rents the space.  The bakery department takes special orders and I think our liquor department offers the lowest prices around”.  And in the check out area…seven self check out stands and four staffed stands. I also like the new grocery carts with a few storage areas instead of one large basket.

Part of the fresh Produce Section

David grew up in the grocery business-his father was a grocer with Payless Grocery.  Unlike the Price Chopper in Brookside and the one on 103rd off Wornall (both owned by the Cosentino family), this store is owned by Balls Foods, which will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary next year.  David says prices can vary from store to store, but the weekly ad specials are always the same at every Price Chopper. You’ll experience a very friendly staff when you visit; if you are looking for a particular item, someone will walk you  to the exact spot in the aisle that has your item!  During the many months this store was closed, David had a van and drove several  carless teammates to work in the  Bannister and Grandview stores.  Of the 83 current employees, 30 worked at the store previously and came back so you may see some familiar faces.  The Ball’s Food Stores vision is “To be the best run, friendliest supermarkets in town where teammates are passionate about providing excellent customer service and where customers love to shop.”

Large Selection of Wine, Beer and Spirits!

I asked David if he was having any supply chain issues regarding keeping the store stocked during the pandemic.  He explained they have approximately 4000 items delivered per week, and there are a few things are in short supply:  paper products, children’s drinks and canned pet food.  But overall, he can get everything needed to keep the shelves full.

It’s easy to run in and out of this store if you just need a couple of things; or stock up with a big load of groceries.  There’s plenty of parking out front; and you can create orders online to pick up in the store later or have delivered to your car.  Stop in and check out the new Waldo Price Chopper! The store is open seven days a week from 7am-10pm.

Make Reservations Now for Kansas City Restaurant Week

During this rather boring time of year (unless the Chiefs keep winning!)….we have KC Restaurant Week to break the monotony! This is the time to check out some eateries you haven’t been to before…and there are so many to choose from. Over 180 restaurants are participating in this year’s event!

Kansas City Restaurant Week is happening January 14-22, 2022. A portion of the earnings will be donated to the Guadalupe Centers–KC’s largest Hispanic association, providing education, health care and other social services in our area for over 100 years now. Reservations fill up fast, especially on weekends, so make your plans now if you plan to dine in. Some places are offering delivery and carry out options.

Below is a list of the participating restaurants in Brookside and Waldo. The fixed lunch price is $15; dinner price is $35 or $45. Not all of the special menus are posted yet–check the website or the KCRW app for updates.

Aixois French Restaurant * Charlie Hoopers * Michael Forbes * Red Door Grill

Boru Asian Eatery * Lews Grill and Bar * South of Summit Taqueria * Summit Grill* The Well * Waldo Pizza.

Note that most of the restaurants are locally owned..and we know how much local businesses have suffered during the COVID pandemic. Thank you for supporting our locally owned restaurants and please tip generously!!!