Cityscape

River Market loses Hickok’s restaurant, gains Folk Store

Updated: 2013-08-20T01:45:56Z

By JOYCE SMITH

The Kansas City Star

The Folk Store is now open at 509 Delaware St., Suite 101.

The shop sells entry level and vintage instruments, and accessories including banjos, steel guitars and ukuleles. Collector pieces include a 1917 Gibson U Harp Guitar and a 1959 Fender Jazzmaster. Other items include unique folk art, T-shirts and sheet music.

River Market Hickok’s closes

Less than three years after opening in the River Market, Hickok’s Bar & Grill is now closed.

But the space at 528 Walnut St. might not be empty for long.

Harry Murphy, owner of Harry’s Country Club — just a half block away at 112 E. Missouri Ave. — had wanted to open a new restaurant in the space, one specializing in modern Italian cuisine and offering more small plates instead of family-style dishes.

The yet-to-be-named restaurant was scheduling an early November opening — if all went as planned. But on Monday negotiations were stalled over some points, and the landlord was talking to another possible tenant.

Beignet adds second cafe

Less than three months after opening in the City Market, Beignet cafe has another new location.

Beignet on 39th Street is now open at 1710 W. 39th St., in the former Togo’s spot. Like its City Market counterpart, it has a vintage voodoo decor, a small indoor seating area and outdoor seating.

Menu items include savory beignets such as the Crusty Crab (blue crab, herbed goat cheese and hickory bacon), the Bronx (smoked mozzarella, Italian sausage, pepperoni and meatballs), the Bourgeois Pig (cheddar, caramelized onions, apple wood and hickory bacon) and Veg-head (honey goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts). Customers also can choose a free aioli for dipping. Sweet beignets include chocolate truffle, Bavarian cream, and blackberry white chocolate.

The cafe, just a couple of blocks east of State Line Road, also serves espresso drinks, spiced chicory coffee, malted hot chocolate and other unique drinks.

Beignet’s founders, Bryan and Monica “Nica” Merker, have taken on partners for the new 39th Street cafe — Carlos Mortera, former chef de cuisine at Lagniappe-Nica’s Cajun Kitchen, as well as the father and son who formerly owned Togo’s.

The Merkers opened their first Beignet cafe in the City Market in late May. When Beignet’s customers wanted more of the New Orleans-styled cuisine, the couple decided to convert their 2-year-old Nica’s 320 restaurant on Southwest Boulevard to Lagniappe-Nica’s Cajun Kitchen earlier this month.

Nick and Jake’s plans restaurant south of the Plaza

With two restaurants in the suburbs, Nick and Jake’s now wants to come into the heart of the city.

The owners are in final negotiations to take over the former Beacon tavern space at 5031 Main St. If all goes as planned, Nick and Jake’s on Main will open in mid-November.

“We’ve always wanted to be in that area,” said Kevin Timmons, who with Doug Watkins founded and owns Nick and Jake’s. “We are a neighborhood bar and grill, and I feel like we would be a good complement to the restaurants that are already in that neighborhood.”

The first Nick and Jake’s opened in Overland Park in mid-2001, and the owners later added a Parkville location. The restaurants serve soups and salads, specialty burgers, sandwiches, and entrees such as baby back ribs, chicken pot pie, blackened chicken carbonara, steaks, and poached salmon. They also offer daily lunch specials.

The restaurants are named after Nick Timmons, son of Kevin Timmons, and Jake Watkins, son of Doug Watkins.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC.

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