While the Kansas City hospitality industry faces what may be one of the most challenging winters in memory, a handful of new dining and drinking establishments have opened their doors to customers looking for something a little bit different. In Brookside, chef Charles D’Ablaing debuted his long-awaited sister concept to Brookside Poultry Co., Brookside Beef Co., which serves accessibly-priced, high-quality steaks and comforting sides. Nearby, the Classic Cookie and Café reopened under new ownership and neighborhood acclaim. Nearby, Jovito’s Italian Café, serving “gourmet fast Italian cuisine” began serving customers at 7408 Wornall Road.

Just about a mile north at 30th and Troost, chef and entrepreneur Alan Kneeland has opened The Combine, a neighborhood sandwich/salad/pizza restaurant and beer bar located in what once was a Wonder Bread Factory (the menu features some playful sandwiches made with, yep, Wonder Bread). Downtown, The Mercury Room began serving customers high-level cocktails with skyline views. Finally, out in Mission, Estrella Azul transitioned from food truck to a brick-and-mortar location, serving from-scratch Mexican favorites.

A few of Kansas City’s favorite restaurants opted to close permanently in November or announced plans to do so in the next few weeks, including wood-fired chicken restaurant Poi-O in the Westside, and the classic Gojo Japanese Steakhouse in Westport, which never reopened after temporarily shutting down in the spring. Diners still have a few more weeks to enjoy Megan and Colby Garrelts’ fabulous Bluestem in Westport, as well as Howard’s Café & Grocery in the Crossroads.

Openings

Brookside Beef Co., 751 East 63rd St., Kansas City, Missouri, bksbeefco.com

Estrella Azul, 6011 Johnson Drive, Mission, Kansas, 913.549.3030, estrellaazulkc.menufy.com

Jovito’s Italian Cafe, 7408 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.943.9988, jovitoskc.com

Lonnie’s Reno Club, located inside The Ambassador Hotel Kansas City, 1111 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri, lonniesrenoclub.com 

The Classic Cookie & Café, 409 West Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri, 816.214.8180, classiccookiekc.com

The Combine, 2999 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, 816.895.3036, thecombinekc.com

The Mercury Room, 1800 Walnut St., Suite 1400, Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.896.8488, themercuryroom.com

Closings

Bluestem, 900 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri (closing Dec. 19, make reservations here)

Howard’s Café & Grocery, 1708 Oak St., Kansas City, Missouri (closing Dec. 30)

Gojo Japanese Steakhouse, 4163 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri

Poi-O, 1000 W. 25th St., Westside, Kansas City, Missouri

Coming Soon

Black Agave Tequila Mexican Cuisine & Bar, 9720 Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas

Canary, 3835 Main St., Kansas City, Missouri, canarykc.com

Cookies and Creamery, 533 East Red Bridge Road, Kansas City, Missouri

Fountain City Winery, 1409 W. 11th St., Kansas City, Missouri, fountaincitywinery.com

McLain’s Market, 2412 Iowa St., Lawrence, Kansas

Strip’s Chicken, 420 W. 85th St., Kansas City, Missouri

Va Bene Italian Eatery, 8232 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas

West Bottoms Whiskey Co., 1321 W. 13th St., West Bottoms, Kansas City, Missouri