After a two-year run on the west end of the Country Club Plaza, chef Clark Grant and restaurateur Shawn McClenny have announced that they will shutter their restaurant, Hogshead, on Sun., Jan. 5.
Grant posted the notice on Facebook this week, encouraging friends and fans to come in and celebrate with them one last time. “We plan to run our menu with burger and beer specials until the taps run dry this weekend,” he tells Feast.
Although they are disappointed to be closing Hogshead, the partners just couldn’t justify paying rent after a year of slow traffic due to myriad factors like weather, construction, lack of parking and the growing restaurant competition in and around Kansas City.
“The Plaza is 'a' prime dining destination in Kansas City, but it is no longer 'the' prime dining destination in Kansas City,” explains Grant. “We happened to open Hogshead at the same time that many other industry friends opened their new places too, and with all of the competition it has been difficult to stand out. As much as I want my friends in this business to succeed, there simply isn’t enough room for all of us.”
Grant has spent this week notifying his food and beverage purveyors about the closing, in addition to finding spots in other kitchens for his employees. “I am really proud of the work we did here at Hogshead, and I am proud about the way we are closing our business too,” he says. “We are leaving on a high note.”
Hogshead was a new concept for Kansas City. It was also a first-time collaboration between McClenny, owner of One Block South entertainment district in Overland Park, Kansas, (Kanza Hall, Red 8, Fuel and Local Tap) and Grant, who was formerly an executive chef partner with Capital Grille in Chicago and Kansas City.
The 5,500-square-foot restaurant, with its warm and contemporary décor, had a beautiful wraparound copper-top bar that ringed the kitchen and was modeled after Au Cheval, a popular late-night burger spot in Chicago. Grant and McClenny, who shared a love of farm-to-table food and the city of Chicago, made sure to offer a burger to rival their favorite burger joint, and Hogshead's brunchy-themed house burger with thick-cut bacon and a fried egg on top had quite the following. The macho mKCrib sandwich was also an Instagram hit, featuring a half a rack of ribs on a long hoagie roll with pickles and onions. The rest of the menu offered comforting, Southern-inspired favorites with a farm-fresh flair.
Hogshead was also the first restaurant to start serving CBD cocktails in Kansas City, and Grant continued to push boundaries of what a zero-proof cocktail menu could be by offering nonalcoholic beer selections from WellBeing Brewing Co. in St. Louis to Seedlip’s nonalcoholic spirits.
Grant and his wife, Lindsey Gaucher, who also works in the industry, have decided to stay in Kansas City for the time being, and he is considering several offers at the start of the new culinary year.
The Hogshead restaurant space carries a lot of Kansas City culinary history. In 1972, it was home to Joe Gilbert and Paul Robinson's first location of Houlihan’s, which operated there for 30 years. McClenny once worked for the concept, but now he and Grant are now having to say goodbye to their first restaurant concept together.
“We are parting on great terms, and we both have valued our partnership and our friendship,” says Grant of McClenny. “We worked together to try to figure out how to make this place work in this location.”
Hogshead, 4743 Pennsylvania Ave., Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.321.2929, hogsheadkc.com