After hosting three media events over the past three months, Strang Hall has finally revealed all six chefs who will be operating their own individual restaurants inside of the new food hall when it opens in December in downtown Overland Park.
The six chef-entrepreneurs include a mix of well-known seasoned chefs who have worked at some of the best restaurants in the city and some up-and-coming chefs who will be introducing themselves and their food to the local scene for the first time.
Each chef had to try out for a spot, cooking for a panel of their peers along with people from RestaurantLink, who will be managing the food hall once it is open. They interviewed more than 30 chefs, each who were vying for an opportunity to launch their own restaurant, making their own food, while getting the benefit of working together as a team.
“We are proud of the quality of the food and caliber of our Strang Hall chefs. Our vision is for Strang Hall to be a destination for foodies and families alike," said local investor, business entrepreneur and Strang Hall founder Tim Barton.
Chef Spencer Knipper will serve as the Strang Hall's general manager, overseeing the market and the collection of chef talent inside. Knipper attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and has worked for some of the best restaurants in Kansas City including The American, Bluestem, Port Fonda, Stock Hill and Gram and Dun.
The highly curated 13,000-square-foot market will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and include a coffee shop as well as a full-service bar.
The business model developed for this new food hall is significantly different from the typical master lease that most food halls employ today. The chefs selected for Strang Hall will work for themselves and for the company, making their own food in their own kitchens. This allows all six concepts to work together as one entity on lower operating costs, while allowing the chefs to focus on making great food at a profit.
An entrepreneur himself, Barton was the founder and executive chairman of Freightquote in Kansas City before selling the business in 2014. After that he launched the Edison Factory, a company that helps build start-ups, investing in local entrepreneurs from all business sectors to help them launch, sustain and succeed.
Barton says he is sold on the future of downtown Overland Park and wants to make sure the Edison District – including Strang Hall – will offer something unique and delicious to the neighborhood.
“Strang Hall is more than a food hall. It's a Chef Collective for local culinary talent and a launching point for food entrepreneurs to showcase their skills," he said. "Our goal has always been to provide an authentic, chef-driven experience, and we scoured the Kansas City food scene looking for the right talent and the right fit. We are confident that the chefs we found will provide a unique and delicious dining experience and that customers will be excited to try them all."