The Livestock Exchange Building at 16th and Genessee streets sets some of the tone for this West Bottoms neighborhood: a history of KC cattle.
But the owners of the eclectic mix of new restaurants and bars are also going for a different flavor in the Stockyards District.
“When people open in the Stockyards, they give a wink or a nod to cattle,” said Tracy Zinn, owner of Genessee Royale Bistro, which sits where the Kansas City Stockyards once stood. “But I did some research and found that the West Bottoms was settled by the French, so I wanted to give a nod to the French. Why not have a French Bistro in the West Bottoms?”
Zinn says she took a chance on the neighborhood when her restaurant opened six years ago, before most of the current establishments arrived. “We were kind of an urban anchor,” she said. Now the area is quite a draw, especially on First Fridays.
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Before, the mainstay of the area was the iconic Golden Ox restaurant, which closed two years ago. Stockyards Brewing Co. has taken over part of the building but preserved its history, keeping the vintage Western steakhouse lounge decor, complete with wood paneling and mural.
Now the owners of the popular Voltaire restaurant, which serves world cuisine, plan to open a new incarnation of the Golden Ox soon in the adjacent space.
What’s old is new again.