816 Business

Plans are underway to expand Avenues Bistro into Baskin-Robbins space in Brookside

Updated: 2013-10-16T00:45:06Z

By JOYCE SMITH

The Kansas City Star

Avenues Bistro-Brookside is bursting at the seams, according to owner Joe Birch.

But maybe not for long.

Plans are in the works for Avenues, at 338 W. 63rd St., to expand into the current Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream/Topsy’s Popcorn space next door. The additional space would be used for the restaurant’s popular happy hour offerings — before 6 p.m. and after 8 p.m. daily — and for private events.

Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream/Topsy’s Popcorn’s lease expires next summer. It could relocate in Brookside, possibly to the former James Hallmark Shop space at 6245 Brookside Blvd.

Bob Ramm, owner of the ice cream and popcorn shop, said he had operated in Brookside for 42 years and had been at his current location since 1980.

“This is a very good store; we get 300 or 400 customers a day. But it would be very expensive to relocate,” Ramm said. “Knowing we are being pushed out by the neighbor is discouraging and I am somewhat surprised that the ownership group would throw me out, basically.”

Ramm estimates relocation costs at $300,000. The former Hallmark retail space would need new plumbing and electrical to accommodate a food operation.

“There could be some landlord participation, some tenant improvement funds, depending on how badly they want to keep me in the neighborhood,” Ramm said.

George Gilchrist, managing partner of BKS Real Estate LLC, owners of the three properties, said the Hallmark space will probably be divided into two spaces — side by side or front and back.

One of the spaces would “be about the same square footage that Baskin-Robbins is using now. We don’t want to throw him out,” Gilchrist said. “Relocation is sometimes hard, but I believe after the move it will be positive.”

Reader questions

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Milbourn’s Food & Drink Co. opened early this year at 6409 N. Cosby Ave. But the owner closed the restaurant in July, saying he did not have enough business.

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Woodsweather II opened a year ago at 2510 N.E. Vivion Road. John Cuezze, the former manager of the restaurant, said the owner decided to sell the building to a redeveloper.

Swirl Wine Bar & Shoppe opens in Northland

Heather Redman had long wanted a wine bar in her Northland neighborhood.

When one didn’t come along, she took on the task of opening one herself with two investors earlier this month.

Swirl Wine Bar & Shoppe, in the Village at Burlington Creek, 6006 N.W. 63rd Terrace, has kegs of wine on tap, along with Boulevard Brewing Co. beers, and wine and beer flights.

Customers also can order small plates, including Yummy’s Choice hummus; cheese platters featuring Marcona Almonds, Cottonwood River cheddar cheese, and Irish Stout blackcurrant jam; and Boulevard chilled creamy cheese dip with pretzels and fresh cut vegetables for dipping.

There are several seating areas in the red/black/gray/white room — the bar, bar stools at wine barrels topped with glass, plush sofas, and tables and chairs, along with an outdoor patio.

The retail section offers bottles of wine to drink there or take home, gourmet food products, craft beers and Swirl-branded hats, T-shirts and hoodies.

Swirl also is offering wine and beer gift baskets.

It will have a grand opening celebration from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

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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