After hosting a final farewell weekend for regulars at its original Plaza location, The Capital Grille recently opened its doors in a shiny new home.
Taking over the combined retail spaces where Williams-Sonoma and Tesla were once located, Capital Grille is now sitting pretty on the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Ward Parkway – one of the most visible corners at the entrance of this historic outdoor shopping district.
After 18 years in the same location on the Country Club Plaza, Capital Grille moved to make way for the new Nordstrom store that will soon dominate the western border of The Plaza. This move also puts the steakhouse across the street from its sister concept, Seasons 52, which is also owned by Darden Restaurant Group.
The new 15,126-square-foot restaurant feels appropriately spacious with over 6,000 additional square feet for a total of 329 seats, in addition to a wrap-around outdoor patio that seats 16.
Diners can rest easy knowing that Capital Grille is still serving the same menu full of old favorites like the pineapple-infused vodka cocktail known as the Stoli Doli, pan-fried calamari with cherry peppers and wedge salad with blue cheese and bacon, along with a fantastic selection of steaks, seafood and sides.
Walking through the new front doors, now flanked by two silver lions, the first thing guests will see are the floor-to-ceiling wine lockers rented by Capital Grille’s loyal fans and local celebrities. They clearly hold a place of honor, as the lockers are seen by everyone coming through the front door.
Step into the new dining room, which has been painted a lovely shade of red and complements the snazzy red striped carpet. Shiny black subway tiles almost glitter against the silver stainless steel in the bustling open kitchen. The clocks set to various time zones still sit above the kitchen pass, and the bronzed eagle statue has made the move to the new space, taking a place of honor in front of the kitchen.
The impressive new bar at Capital Grille, located next to the main dining room, is known as The Lounge. It was built in the round and curves around leading to more private dining spaces in the back of the restaurant. With windows positioned all the way around the bar, the space is flooded with light, and as the sun sets the windows allow for Plaza views overlooking Brush Creek.
All of the stodgy old wood paneling is gladly gone, replaced with a modern clear glass wine cellar on one side of the bar that is home to over 3,000 bottles of wine and 25 wines available by the glass. You can see the sommeliers move in and out of the space as bottles get ordered and opened. Next to the wine cellar is some intimate booth seating near the bar, and the rest of the room features high-top tables that follow the circular shape of the bar and outdoor patio.
Capital Grille’s original location was decorated with oil paintings of various local and national celebrities who once called Kansas City home. A handful made it to the new space, and the rest found new homes or, if on loan, were returned to their rightful owners. Paintings depict legendary Kansas City restaurateur Gilbert Robinson, jazz pianist Count Basie and more.
Capital Grille managing partner Kim Halloran continues to successfully lead the team alongside executive chef and partner Marc Erickson. The success of this location, and its ability to hold a place in the hearts of Kansas City diners despite being, on paper, another corporate steakhouse, lies in the quality of the people who have managed the restaurant over the years. It is not uncommon to find servers with up to 13 years of experience, in addition to those who have been here since day one. The consistency, and quality of the food, coupled with an outstanding wine list all delivered with a high level of service reflects the training and time the team at Capital Grille has spent working together.
When Capital Grille opened in 2001, the location was run by one of Kansas City’s best restaurant operators, Mary Simpson, and after her, dapper Bart Hickey served in that role. Halloran followed him and is currently adding her own professional thumbprint to this brand-new restaurant location. Halloran invited both Simpson and Hickey back to work the floor, and the room full of longtime VIP customers, on Capital Grille's final nights in its original location. It was an appropriate farewell with all hands on deck, delivering personal table touches and sharing private laughs with customers who had become more like old friends for this amazing leadership team.
“Our team is strong, and they are all locals, and we consider ourselves a Kansas City steakhouse,” says Halloran. “Darden purchased The Capital Grille in 2007; however, we still operate under the same leadership, the same president and the same directors, and they offer us the ability to have stronger sourcing.”
Cheers to another new chapter for Capital Grille on the Country Club Plaza, and long live the Stoli Doli.
The Capital Grille is open seven days a week, with lunch Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11pm and Sunday from 4 to 9pm. The Lounge is open daily to enjoy lunch, dinner and cocktails.
The Capital Grille, 4760 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.531.8345, thecapitalgrille.com/locations/mo/kansas-city/kansas-city