After reinventing itself as a dining destination by recruiting restaurants offering authentic cuisine from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Brazil, Jordan, China and points in between, the City Market is adding an American bistro in a grand former bank building next to the market’s iconic arched entrance on Fifth Street.
Murphy’s vision is to uncover architectural features such as a marble-stepped staircase that had been walled over and give Kansas City a restaurant with a big-city feel, like Odeon in New York. Daughter Kate McGlaughlin co-owns the business with Murphy and will help run it.
He took the name from a historic sign on the building’s north side that the city restored. The original Brown & Loe was a produce distributor on the second floor, above the bank.
The design is in the capable hands of former Dolphin gallery owner John O’Brien, owner of Hammer Out Design in Independence. O’Brien, who designed restaurants with Paul Robinson in the heyday of themed eateries in the 1980s, says the theme of Brown & Loe is “no theme.”
He wants it to be a “neighborhood joint” with breakfast and coffee, a bar longer than Voltaire’s and a patio where diners can take in the charms of one of the few intersections in Kansas City with historic buildings on all four corners.
The chef is James Paul, who apprenticed at Pierpont’s through Johnson County Community College’s culinary program after a three-year stint in Los Angeles, where fussy customers with “odd dietary requirements” cramped his style.
Paul’s vision for the menu is to pay homage to Midwestern and Southern comfort food built around the fresh offerings at the City Market, with a particular focus on “rescuing” foods that used to be part of our culture that we overlook now, such as lima beans.
▪ Brown & Loe, 429 Walnut St., 816-472-0622 (after the restaurant opens), brownandloe.com (after the restaurant opens). Opening is set for April.