Shellfish in Brookside? Have A Taste of the Ocean at Earl’s Premier

It’s soooooo hot……are you desperate for something new and refreshing to send a cool chill through your skin?  I’ve got a suggestion:  stop in Brookside’s newest restaurant, Earl’s Premier, and enjoy a tasty frozen gin and tonic at the bar.  They sell a lot of them these days, over 1800 glasses just last month!

Cory Dannehl and Todd Schulte

Come for the G&T, stay for the food!  Earl’s emphasis is on very fresh seafood: start with the oyster bar, stocked by a company that represents 30 small independent oyster farms. “We are very lucky to have this connection”, explained co-owners Todd Schulte and Cory Dannehl.  “They don’t supply to big chain restaurants.  Our oysters are delivered three times a week, usually within 36 hours of being pulled out of the ocean”.  Other popular menu items include a New Orleans-style Po’ Boy sandwich, mussels, shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, a blue crab guacamole, the Piri Piri spiced chicken plus nightly specials.

You probably heard Todd’s name associated with various restaurants in the KC area:  Joe D’s Wine Bar in Brookside, the Happy Soup Eater and Happy Gillis Café in Columbus Park. Most recently he worked with Christopher Elbow.  Cory supplied beer to Todd’s work spots  via Central States Beverage and the two became friends.  They both traveled to coastal areas and “liked that lifestyle.  We wanted to bring a small, independent seafood place to Kansas City.  And we wanted it to be a neighborhood place, where people can stop in, hang out, have some good seafood.”  Both live in Brookside and were familiar with the former Chai Shai space, knowing it would be just right for the type of place they wanted to open.

Let’s get back to the frozen G&T and what inspired that drink:  Cory and Todd were visiting Austin, and found a bar that was serving a frozen gin and tonic.  Somehow they procured the recipe and purchased the machines to make the drink for Earl’s.  It’s a very precise recipe and has to be mixed and chilled just right to keep the consistency of the drink.  Of course they use local J Rieger and Co gin!   Earl’s also has a few other signature cocktails and a large selection of beer, wine and hard liquors. 

Earl’s Premier, 651 E 59th St

Earl’s Premier takes reservations and because it’s a small restaurant, tables fill up quickly.  You can eat at the bar or on the patio if there is space—there are plans to install a roof and enclose the outdoor space next month for more seating.  Stop in and check out Earl’s Premier—located at 651 E 59th St.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday, and plan to start Sunday brunch sometime this month. The staff is friendly and welcoming—you’ll love the small neighborhood vibe of the place as well as the food!

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.

Vegan Mattie’s Foods Opens in Brookside East

It all started with the queso…

Back in 2015, sisters  India Pernell and Arvelisha Woods went from being vegetarians to  vegan. But they craved cheese! So the pair created their own recipe for queso and brought some of it to  their hair salon in Independence.  Customers loved it—and they decided to start selling their creamy comfort food.    Eventually, they developed recipes for vegan nachos too and promoted their goodies at festivals and pop-ups.  More success!  In 2018, they bought a food truck and started catering out of a kitchen commissary, closing the hair salon to focus on their food full time.  Customers wanted a restaurant—India and Arvelisha listened and now you can visit Mattie’s Foods in east Brookside, at 633 E 63rd St.

LiLike every other small business owner, India and Arvelisha had to deal with the pandemic. The lease was signed in August.   “We’ve gone through so many trials and tribulations” Arvelisha explained, “that we knew how to work under pressure.  We just got creative and made it work”.  The restaurant  has been a hit—when  I visited last week after the lunch rush, there was still a steady stream of people coming in after 2pm for a meal.  “We have always loved Brookside and grew up near here.  Brookside has the entrepreneurial spirit and the locals support small business owners.”

So what else is on the menu?  Besides nachos and the infamous queso, Mattie’s offers breakfast, including a biscuit sandwich, pancakes and the popular Mattie bon—a cinnamon roll with fruit flavor options.  Popular lunch items are the brisket sandwich made with tofu, and various types of mac and cheese.  There are no fried foods in this place—and, most items can be made gluten free.  Mattie’s still caters for events and sells family meals, including special vegan meals with a Thanksgiving theme.

As you may  have guessed, Mattie’s is named after the sisters’ beloved grandmother.  They both grew up learning how to cook from Mattie, and as they created the vegan recipes, were inspired by those childhood food memories. 

Mattie’s Foods is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am-3pm; Thursdays and Fridays, 9am-7pm. Stop in for a meal of “comfort food made smart”!

Charlie Hooper’s is Back in Business!!

Charlie Hopper’s Bar and Grille is like Brookside’s Cheers bar…whenever I stop in, there’s usually always someone I know!  Back in June, a fire forced Hooper’s to close; now the remodeling is complete and it’s back open for business!

hooopers Although today is the official re-opening day, Hooper’s will have the Grand Reopening celebration all next week, offering specials and giveaways. Watch for specifics online or sign up for their rewards program.  Hoopers is one of the few area joints that serves food till 2am –and cooks have a newly renovated kitchen to work in.  

Stop in Charlie Hoopers soon and see what they’ve done with the place post-fire.  You’ll probably run into someone from the neighborhood!  Hooper’s is at 12 W 63rd St, just west of 63rd and Main St. Parking available on street on on the north side of the building. Welcome back!



Try This New Burger Restaurant in Waldo

Burger State burger


There’s a new burger joint in town… and oh boy, doesn’t that look tasty?? It’s called Burger State, located just south of of 89th and Wornall at 8920 Wornall (formerly a barbecue place).  Burger State opened last month, and has already become a neighborhood favorite with nearby residents.

Burger State Ray

Owner Raymond Reyes grew up in Brookside, near St Peter’s School, and has been in the restaurant business for quite a while—as a manager and consultant, opening and running local spots.  Over the years, he noticed a few things:  quality food, no matter what type, always sold well and when guests complained, it was mostly about service, not the food.  So when he decided to open his own place, he wanted a simple, basic menu with fresh, high quality ingredients and easy, fast service.  That’s exactly what he delivers at Burger State.  It’s the “fast casual” format, where customers order at the counter and pick up their food when ready (always by name, as Raymond likes to get to know his guests!).  The menu features grass fed, fresh ground beef burgers (he sampled six different types before choosing the beef type), chicken, fish and a hot dog plus salads and chili.  There is a kids menu, soft drinks plus beer and wine. His seasoned fries will stay crispy in their to-go boxes (there were rounds of testing to offer that special feature); other sides include sweet potato fries, tater tots, slaw, onion rings. All the basics you’ll find at a burger place , with a higher degree of quality and freshness.  And the burger buns are…brioche bread, another upgrade! For vegetarians, he offers two options: the Impossible burger and an a black bean patty.

Burger State counterOne of Burger State’s specialties is the KC Fried Burger:  the beef patty is dipped in batter and then deep fried. It really seals in the juices of the burger and is one of their best sellers.  Raymond came up with this item after making onion rings at home with his kids—and decided on a whim to cook the burger covered in the same  batter. And if you are wondering how he came up with the restaurant name, it  was quite a process. He and his wife considered so many names, but most of them were already taken by other businesses.  He kept thinking  he was in a ‘burger state of mind’ while planning the place, and then decided to see if Burger State was available as a name…and it was!  (In the USA anyway, he did find a Burger State in Bangladesh of all places).

Raymond now lives with his family in Waldo and says “The neighborhood has really embraced us.  It’s nice to have so many residents support small, locally owned businesses. I try to get to every table and ask about the food and ask  if customers have any suggestions for other food items to serve. “  When was the last time that happened to you when dining out?

Burger State is open 11am-9pm Monday through Saturday.  Stop in and try it soon—and say Hi to Ray!  Thank you for supporting locally owned Brookside and Waldo businesses.


Brookside Ready to Welcome Two New Restaurants

Brookside will welcome two new restaurants shortly…Brookside Barrio and Brookside Poultry Company are preparing to open within the next few weeks.  Similar to building a brand new house–one can aim for a firm opening date but usually it’s a fluid process, as various vendors and contractors plus new staff have to come together at just the right time before the doors open.   Often a new spot is jammed with curious foodies the first few weeks, so it can be a challenge getting the service and food in sync while everyone is talking about ‘the new place to eat’ in our neighborhood.  If you are one of the first to try one of these new places, please be patient with the dining experience!

Brookside Poultry Company is  Brookside resident Charles d’Ablaing’s first restaurant, poultryhaving worked at Chaz on the Plaza, Webster House and Rosso (now closed).  Originally from Atlanta, the chef will focus on southern cooking with an emphasis on spit-roasted chicken, duck and turkey (locally sourced), plus cheddar biscuits, marinated fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits and key lime pie.  The restaurant seats just 30 people (no reservations) and  food will be available for take out.  In addition, patrons can rent the space for private events Sundays and Mondays when it is closed to the public. Brookside Poultry Company is located at 408 E 63rd St, (63rd and Oak) in the former Oak 63 space.

barrioIn the old Julian space at 6227 Brookside Plaza, watch for the opening of Brookside Barrio, a Mexican Kitchen and Bar.  This is the third restaurant for Chris Ridler, who also owns Sol Cantina on Martini Corner and Zocalo on the Plaza.  Menu items will include  grilled skirt steak with cilantro chimichurri, fried shrimp tacos and Mexican lettuce wraps (that sounds interesting!).  Brookside Barrio will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and will have outdoor seating as well–one of the best features about that restaurant spot.

Two new dining spots coming soon to Brookside for you to try…I’m excited about both of them, especially because they are locally based operations.  Now all we need is a new opening date for Plate…….hopefully this year!

Brookside East Welcomes Grab & Go Food Spot

bite verticle

Brookside East continues to gain more tenants, and one of the newest is Can I Have A Bite, the grab and go food store that moved to 633 E 63rd St in late March from a Wornall location in Waldo. Owner Kathy Hale focuses on healthy food, prepared on site, using locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible, with a menu that changes weekly.



bite food

Cashew meatloaf, sweet potatoes with chili pepper, basil roasted Brussel sprouts and rosemary balsamic beets

For busy professionals and those with food allergies, Can I Have A Bite can be a regular stop for specialty lunches and dinners. Kathy offers frozen entrees you heat up yourself—or she will have it hot and ready if you call ahead. There is an array of salads, soups, energy bites and full meals you can choose from. With this expanded location, she’s added some new options: a “Create Your Own Entrée”—you choose an animal or vegetarian protein, two sides and a sauce or cheese topping. There is also a “Healthy Belly Bar” with balsamic, bitters and tincture ingredients to create beverages for specific digestions; and a few fresh mocktail options. Plus, Kathy has added sandwiches featuring Gabrianna Bakery breads and fresh French pastries on Saturdays.   Local art, available for purchase, is showcased on the walls and there is  seating if you want to dine in.


bite KathyPersonal service thrives here–Kathy takes so much pride and care into creating these special, tasty options for her customers. She really understands how different folks have various food limitations (or dietary preferences) and tailors to her clients. This new location also offers much easier parking options, just outside the front door.


Can I Have A Bite is located at 633 E 63rd St, next to Golden and Pine. Hours are Monday – Thursday 10am-7pm; Friday 10-5 and Saturdays 11am-5pm. Check the Facebook page for menu updates—call ahead with your order at 816 381 9101.

It’s Here–KC Restaurant Week Jan 16-25 2015

January…the most boring month of the year!  The weather is cold, trees are barren and everything outside looks gray and dingy..except for the bright, soft focus sunsets!  Hard to muster up the energy to go out after you are settled in at home…. 

KC restaurant weekThat’s why January is the perfect time for Kansas City Restaurant Week!  From Jan 16-25, we have  ten days of bargain priced meals at many of KC’s finest restaurants.  This is the time to try the pricier spot you may have heard about for the low price of $33 for a three course dinner ($15 for a two course lunch).  Many of the eateries are locally owned and and operated; and there are all kinds of cuisine offered–from pizza to boar meat!

All of the participating restaurants donate a portion of their profits to these three organizations:  Boys Grow, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired and Cultivate KC. 

Below is a list of the Brookside/Waldo spots offering special menus during the week.  You can go to to see individual restaurant menus, make reservations and see a complete list of all the places throughout the metro area offering the prix fix deals. 

75th St Brewery                                   Louie’s Wine Dive

District Pour House and Kitchen       Michael Forbes Bar and Grill

Julian                                                    Waldo Pizza

Lew’s Grill and Bar                             The Well


Thank you for supporting KC Restaurant Week!  Reservations fill up fast so make yours today!


Governor Stumpy’s – A Brookside Restaurant for Everyone

Kevin Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy's. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Kevin Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy’s. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

One of the many charms of living in the Brookside/Waldo area are the locally owned shops and restaurants.  Regular customers are greeted with a warm

Governor Stumpy's in Brookside

Governor Stumpy’s in Brookside

welcome and a sincere desire to please. Newcomers are encouraged to return; their comments solicited.  This is  the atmosphere of Governor Stumpy’s at 321 E Gregory.  And it’s all because of the owner/operator, Kevin  Ryan.

Whenever I am driving potential homebuyers around the Brookside/Waldo neighborhoods, they always comment on how much they like the fact that residents can walk to various services.  Governor Stumpy’s is perfectly situated on the corner of Gregory and Oak, within easy walking or biking distance from the nearby homes.  I love to enjoy a meal on the outdoor deck during the warmer months.  Plus, families with children are very comfortable here.

Kevin started out in the restaurant business working for Tippin’s.  After working for years for someone else, he decided to open his own place in 1997.  The Stumpy’s  location was the site of the old Leonard’s restaurant.  After an extensive renovation and opening with a more formal atmosphere–the place almost didn’t make it.  Kevin soon learned the patrons wanted a casual restaurant, so he revamped the place to cater to what his customers wanted.

When you walk in Governor Stumpy’s, you get that “Cheers” (TV show) sort of feeling.  Someone always says ‘hello’ and service is attentive.  If you come in often, the staff will learn your name. You can sit at the bar and watch a game or strike up a conversation with the bartender.  Slip into a comfortable booth and order from the reasonably priced food menu:  pizza, pastas, appetizers, burgers, salads and sandwiches.  Ryan says his best sellers include the baby back ribs, Posnanski’s Chicken Spedini Pasta and the Reuben.

Patrick Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy's. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Patrick Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy’s. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Ryan lives in Lees Summit with his wife and three kids.  He loves the restaurant and has worked very hard to make it a success.  He’s thought about opening additional locations but  doesn’t want to give up his current ‘quality of life’.  Sometimes he works days, sometimes nights, and he can arrange his schedule to be around for family events, sports practices, homework, etc.  If he had another restaurant it would cut into his family time too much.  He’s quite comfortable with the way it all balances out right now.

What’s next for Governor Stumpy’s?  Ryan has plans to enclose the deck this year  and wants to bring back the Celtic Block Party he used to host annually over the Memorial Day weekend.  He’s looking for a benefactor for that event. The menu still features a quarterly special series of food items that benefit a local charity (currently Big Brothers and Big Sisters).  Ryan is also participating in the local Dancing with the Stars competition to benefit Cristo Rey High School.  He’s been practicing with a professional dancer and hopes to raise the most money during the event on March 29.  (You can vote early here, and watch a short promo video below.)

The next time you think ‘let’s go out and grab a bite to eat’ –think about stopping by Governor Stumpy’s.  Thank you for supporting locally owned Brookside/Waldo businesses!

KC Restaurant Week – Participating Brookside/Waldo Restaurants

Are you getting burned out  making dinner every night?  Do you need an excuse to call a friend and grab lunch to break up the workday?  Is there a locally owned KC restaurant you’ve always wanted to try??  Here’s my suggestion:  make plans now to dine out during Kansas City Restaurant Week January 17-26, 2014.

Participating restaurants are offering a two course $15 lunch and/or three course $33 dinner.  This is a real deal folks–most of the dining spots are locally owned and a portion of the proceeds benefits Harvesters-The Community Food Network. You’ll get an excellent meal at a  favorite dining spot…you can try a new place…you can earn dining points if you make reservations through Open Table!

For a sneak peak at the special menus lined up,  visit the Harvesters website and follow the links.  Below is a list of participating restaurants in the Brookside/Waldo areas:

Louie’s Wine Dive

Michael Forbes Grille

75th St Brewery

Remedy Food and Drink

The Well

I suggest you make reservations early in the week…this is a popular event in Kansas City and many restaurants will fill up fast!  Thanks for supporting Harvesters and our locally owned businesses.