Waldo Fall Festival Coming Sat Sept 17!

Happy anniversary to the 30th Annual Waldo Fall Festival!!

It’ s happening this Saturday, September 17, starting at 10am and running until 8pm. There will be many vendor booths, a few food trucks, plenty of live music and activities for the kids. The weather forecast looks perfect!

The festival is located at Gregory and Wornall so be extra careful if you are driving in that area Saturday–watch for extra pedestrians and kids running around!

Thank you for supporting our local vendors and activities!

“Micro Event Space” Opens in East Brookside

Cocoa Spaces, 912 E 63rd St

Every so often, you may have a need for a smaller, special gathering—perhaps a retirement party, baby shower, going away get together, intimate wedding, family reunion; or perhaps a small meeting, business brainstorming retreat or indoor photo shoot.  You don’t want the restrictions and pricing of a hotel meeting room or restaurant, yet no one’s personal home is quite right.  Consider East Brookside’s newest business:  Cocoa Spaces, a “micro event space” that could be just what you are looking for!

Porshia Mitchell

Owner Porshia Mitchell is an electrical engineer by trade, and she always loved being the planner for her friend’s gatherings.  “I love the idea of bringing people together to celebrate”, she says, and had been pondering the idea of opening up such a space for a few years. When she turned 30, she was looking for a space to celebrate with her friends and had trouble finding such a spot. Her passion project turned into a reality when Cocoa Spaces opened at the end of July.    Located at 912 E 63rd St at Harrison, the event venue offers 1300 SF, equipped with a kitchenette, mobile bar, TV and sound system, tables, chairs, and a small lounge area; it is ADA accessible.  Cocoa Spaces comfortably holds 50-60 people at tables or reception style.  Porshia has a list of vendors you can work with for décor, music and accessories; regarding food and liquor, bring in your own or use a caterer.   Parking is available  in front, on the street and east of Rockhill Road. Rental prices vary depending on how long you want the space; there is a three hour minimum.

I asked Porshia how she came up with the name Cocoa Spaces.  “As a black woman in the world, I’m here to take up space—I can do whatever I put my mind to!”  Then she added, “And I love chocolate!” There is a real need for these “micro spaces” for various events involving  friends, family  or co-workers, especially with the holiday planning season coming up!  Remember Cocoa Spaces the next time you are looking for a small, customizable space for a gathering.  Porshia grew up nearby and wanted to be in this area—support local!  Learn more about Cocoa Spaces on their website or follow them on Instagram @cocoaspaces.

New Feature at Leopold Gallery-Open to All!

How many times have you walked past Leopold Gallery…but didn’t stop in?  Perhaps you thought “well I can’t afford anything here” or “I don’t know anything about art”.  That’s what stopped me from browsing the gallery…until Paul Dorrell, President, invited me for a visit.  “I’ve got a new feature to show you—come on by!”.  And I did, thinking…this is a gallery, I’m not obligated to make a purchase…and I love browsing through art museums…I should have checked this place out years ago!

Paul grew up in Leawood  and studied art history at KU.  After a season on a fishing boat in Alaska, he worked as Assistant Director at the Hill-Stead Museum of French Impressionism in Connecticut, where he learned volumes about the art world. He moved back to Kansas City in the late 80s, met his wife Annie, and opened his gallery to primarily represent Missouri and Kansas artists.   His first space was at the old Hotel Savoy, followed by a place in  the Crestwood Shops.  After outgrowing that space, he moved to this location on 63rd St in 2007.  Leopold Gallery has over 8000 clients, and the majority of his sales are over the phone or online.  You’ve probably seen works from the artists he reps at the University of Kansas Health System, Arrowhead and Kaufmann stadiums, the Prairie Village Shops, Kansas State University, Disneyworld and even in some Marvel movies!  He’s also working on providing art for the new Ben Stiller comedy High Desert, coming this fall to Apple TV.

Paul Dorrell, Leopold Gallery

 Inside Leopold Gallery, you’ll see a broad range of works, including abstract, landscape and conceptual art. Chances are there is something you will enjoy looking at or thinking about. Paul gives back to our community as well. He established the Leopold Gallery Educational Foundation and actively works with Sumner and Paseo Academy art programs.  

So what is the new feature in the gallery?? It’s a two story slide!  He wanted to install a slide a year ago, inspired by his visit to the eclectic Meow Wolf space in Santa Fe.  “I want to make adults feel like kids again, and remove the intimidation that people can feel in a gallery” says Paul. He welcomes  all ages to take the plunge from the first floor to the lower level.  The ride is pretty slick and fast, surrounded by flashing lights all the way down… it’s fun and different and just a very welcoming feature of this space. Plus, there is no charge to enjoy the ride!

Stop in and say Hi to Paul, take a slide ride and enjoy the art the next time you are strolling by Leopold Gallery, 324 W 63rd St. Hours are 10am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 10-5 on Saturday.  

Time for the annual Brookside Sidewalk Sale!

Come out to support your local merchants this weekend…and pick up some hot summer deals! The Brookside Sidewalk Sale is happening Thurs/Fri/and Sat, July 7-9, 2022.

Browse the shops along 63rd St and find a little something for yourself or a special friend. You’ll find discounts and sales a plenty! And remember to take a break by grabbing a beverage or meal at one of Brookside’s fine restaurants and eateries.

The Shred Event is also happening on Saturday July 10, starting at 8am in the parking lot behind Jalapeno’s. More info here!.

Unique Collectibles Store Opens in Waldo

Here’s yet another unique, friendly, locally owned business you should know about in Waldo:  PKTC Collectables at 218 W 74th St.  The name of the shop says it all:  owners Scott Saunders and Dione Woods sell collectibles of all kinds:  sports jerseys, comics, action figures, trading cards, posters, Funko Pops and a lot more! 

Scott and Dione have been friends for over 20 years.  Both are into collectibles: Scott had sports memorabilia and Dione collected comic books and action figures.  The pair was celebrating Scott’s birthday in Las Vegas and were talking about collectible shops—how they usually sold “only comics” or “only sports stuff”; they wondered, why not sell everything in the same place?  After scouting the metro area for a suitable location, a friend who owns this building offered them a spot.  PKTC Collectables opened April 5.

Scott Saunders and Dione Woods

“We love the neighborhood”, Scott says.  “We have awesome neighbors, everyone is so friendly and we got a big welcome from the Waldo Business Association.  Nearby business owners have come by to introduce themselves.”  Dione continued:  “We get a lot of foot traffic in this location—especially the kids walking home from school or just out and about.  We cater to the young collectors by offering lower priced cards for them, chatting with them—we even offer a free pack of cards to kids who bring in a report card with a 3.0 or higher grade point average”.  They also have special promotions for adults: for example, to celebrate Father’s Day, wear an ugly tie and stop by for a free doughnut.  Women are a big part of their customer base as well:  the signed Travis Kelsey jersey is the #1 seller for the ladies! 

The shop features action figures, cards, sports shirts, framed posters and Funko Pops.

Store merchandise comes from their own personal collections and what they can find on Facebook, at garage/collector sales and Ebay.  If there is a particular collectible you are looking for, they will try to find it for you.  This is a really fun store to browse in—Scott and Dione offer all kinds of interesting merchandise, at all price ranges.  They love to talk shop and know the collectible market very well.  They will accept consignments as well.  Stop in to say hi to the guys:  hours are 10am-7pm Tuesday through Friday and 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.  Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages too. Welcome to Waldo, PKTC Collectables!

Want to learn about Brookside’s History? Sign up for the Brookside Historic Walking Tour!

Check out this photo–Brookside as it looked over 100 years ago! Women wore long, dark heavy clothes and the men wore hats..electricity was not all that common and Brookside was considered to be so far away from downtown!

Here’s your chance to learn about Brookside and how it began as part of the Wornall family farm. The Wornall House is sponsoring the event on Saturday June 4 from 10am-4pm. You’ll walk through neighborhoods and the commercial district, learning all about how Brookside got started..and how much it’s changed through the years. (Still a beloved, treasured neighborhood of course!). After the tour, stick around the Wornall House for the Buds and Suds reception at 4pm, outside in the new Learning Landscape.

Ticket information at www.wornallmajors.com.

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!