Famous for Americana homestyle cooking in a casual, fun, whimsical and welcoming environment, The Corner Restaurant has been a staple in Kansas City’s historic Westport neighborhood since its founding as a diner in 1980. After the original owner passed away, the restaurant went through a brief transitional period and closed for three years. The Corner eventually opened under new ownership, who introduced an elevated concept while retaining its original friendly neighborhood-joint vibe.
“Originally the restaurant was known as a diner, but it was also known as a place where everyone was welcome,” says Dawn Slaughter, The Corner’s operating manager. “Our goal was to keep that vibe but to modernize it by working with local farms to provide a much higher-quality product.” The old neighborhood favorite was reborn with a new farmhouse-meets-industrial-chic interior and walls adorned with local artwork.
The Corner’s made-from-scratch menu was developed by chef Benjamin Wood, who focused in on classic brunch dishes with a modern twist. “His food is exceptional, and it really deserves the recognition for where we are today,” Slaughter says. “He has really made this place a step above.”
As much as possible, the restaurant draws from small and local purveyors, starting with its robust bar menu that offers a diverse list of specialty cocktails, aperitifs, nine varieties of bubbly Mimosas and a bevy of house cocktails, including The Corner Mary, made with its housemade Bloody Mary mix.
Top-sellers on the food menu include The Benedicts, which feature a choice of housemade chorizo, sage sausage, smoked salmon, housemade pastrami, and asparagus with tomato. The Hashes, which come in four different varieties, have a loyal following at the restaurant, as well. “The Meshuggah is our bagel sandwich, which is a huge success,” Slaughter adds. “We have partnered with Meshuggah Bagels to get its everything bagel to create the perfect breakfast sandwich.” The kitchen sources its produce locally from Backyard Produce, Missing Ingredient and Prairie Birthday Farm, and the grass-fed beef is from Chapman Creek Cattle Co. in Topeka, Kansas.
Recently, Wood added several new summer menu items that capitalize on in-season ingredients, including Citrus Ricotta Fritters with blueberry sauce and fresh berries; Bourbon Cherry Waffles; the Herbivore sandwich with herbed marinated zucchini and yellow squash, roasted tomato, mushroom duxelles, olive tapenade and bibb lettuce on a pretzel bun; and a Steak & Eggs sandwich with dry-aged strip steak, watercress, tomato-bacon jam, whipped goat cheese and milk-stout caramelized onions. A Chorizo Grits Bowl features housemade chorizo, roasted peppers, tomatillo salsa and cilantro.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week. Plan ahead: Peak times get busy, which gives you plenty of time to relax with a tempting selection from the bar menu.
The Corner Restaurant, 4059 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.931.4401, thecornerkc.com