816 Cityscape

Diego’s Bar & Grill opening in Gladstone

Updated: 2013-12-05T03:55:10Z

By JOYCE SMITH

The Kansas City Star

Ivan Marquez has built a strong following with two Overland Park restaurants — one full-service, the other fast-casual.

Now he’s expanding with a third restaurant. But this one is in Gladstone.

Marquez and Marco Diaz plan to open Diego’s Bar & Grill on Friday, in the former Tanner’s Bar & Grill space at 6024 N.E. Antioch Road, Suite B. Tanner’s relocated.

Diego’s partners did their research, noting the many longtime Tex-Mex operations in the Northland, and they made plans to offer something a little different. Diego’s will be a full-service restaurant serving salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pastas, steaks and more, for lunch and dinner.

“It will have a little of the Frida’s flair but it will be more family-friendly and affordable than Frida’s,” said Diaz, managing partner of Diego’s. “We want to be part of the community, to shake hands with our customers, know their kids’ names.”

The menu will include some Frida’s favorites and some new items.

Entrees will be $9 to $13 and include spaghetti Bolognese, pizza Margherita, fish tacos, Chile Verde, roasted chicken, grilled pork chops, and a daily fish selection. Also on the menu are items such as Diego’s Spinach Poblano Queso Dip, crispy fried cheese and chipotle stuffed jalapenos with tangy sour cream sauce, chicken wings and sliders, blue corn nachos, housemade tortilla soup, Cobb salad, roasted turkey club sandwiches, build-your-own burger and veggie burgers, tacos and burritos.

Diego’s also will have a private event space holding 80 to 120 people.

Marquez is co-founder of Frida’s Contemporary Mexican Cuisine restaurant in Overland Park, which is named after famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Diego’s is named after Kahlo's husband and fellow artist, Diego Rivera.

Diaz also is general manager of Frida’s. Marquez also is a partner in Frida’s Taqueria, a fast-casual restaurant in Overland Park.

Cesar Paul, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, is now head chef at all three locations. He previously was head of food and beverage operations for a Mexican casino with 18 restaurants and bars.

Italian restaurant in Independence

Sam Zirpolo has worked in several different areas of the food service industry — the former Smaks fast food chain, Adam’s Mark hotel, and contract work helping to develop products for restaurants in Kansas City and at trade shows.

But he’s never owned and operated a restaurant — until now.

Zirpolo’s Italian Restaurant recently opened in the Hidden Valley shopping center at 3010 S. Missouri 291, Suite S, Independence, (just a couple of stoplights north of Interstate 70).

He lives less than a mile away and said there weren’t a lot of family owned restaurants in the area. His son, Jake Zirpolo, is a server and oversees operations when Sam is gone.

Zirpolo uses some of his family recipes, tracing his roots back to Volterra, Italy. Some of the most popular menu items are Bolognese, lasagna, chicken fried chicken, and Alfredo. Also on the menu: Italian nachos (chips topped with Alfredo and Diavolo sauces, shredded mozzarella cheeses, chopped Italian sausage, meatballs, diced tomatoes, olives and pepperoncini).

Zirpolo’s, which opened in mid-October, is adding some new seasonal items this week — bruschetta, chicken spiedini, shrimp scampi, linguine and clams, and flatbread pizzas.

Zirpolo has warmed up the strip center spot with butter-colored walls, red-and-white checkered tablecloths, and Italian and Italian-American tunes playing overhead.

Quick bites

•  Pizza Ranch is planning a late January opening for its new Independence location at 4660 S. Bass Pro Drive. Pizza Ranch also has locations in Kansas City, North, and Liberty. The restaurants offer pizza, salad, chicken and sides, and desserts for dine-in or carry-out.

•  Wingstop opened recently in Blue Ridge Crossing, 11825 U.S. 40, Independence. The chain features classic and boneless wings in 10 flavors, including Cajun, teriyaki, lemon pepper and garlic Parmesan.

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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