Steve Schussler, creator of the Rainforest Cafe, opened his first T-Rex in the new center in 2006. T-Rex, at 1847 Village West Parkway, featured animatronic dinosaurs, cascading waterfalls, bubbling geysers, an interactive fossil dig site, an ice cave and a 5,000-gallon shark tank.
At the time, Landry’s Restaurants Inc., which had 80 percent ownership with Schussler Creative Inc.’s 20 percent, said the Legends Outlets was expected to be the largest single tourism draw in Kansas — 12 million to 15 million visitors a year — and the area was a hotbed of paleontological history so was the “perfect location to marry the whimsicality and reality of the dinosaur era.”
The cafe offered soups, salads, burgers and entrees such as the Tar Pit Fried Shrimp and fire-roasted rotisserie chicken. Its retail shop featured a Build-A-Dino by Build-A-Bear.
A T-Rex Cafe later opened in Orlando’s Downtown Disney Marketplace.
Officials with the Legends Outlets confirmed the closing.
In a statement, Keith Beitler, senior vice president and COO, specialty restaurant and amusement divisions and international franchising for Landry's Inc., said: “The T-Rex Cafe in Kansas City closed its doors on Saturday, August 12. The landlord opted not to renew our lease causing the closure of our restaurant. We value our employees, their work experience and dedication to our company; and are working to relocate them.”
Landry’s also operates McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant on the Country Club Plaza
In other Legends Outlets news:
▪ Cavender’s recently relocated to a 16,650-square-foot space at 1867 Village West Parkway, Suite D-105. It will have a grand opening event Friday and Saturday.
▪ Under Armour Factory House plans to relocate and nearly double in size in the former Cavender’s space. The new 12,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open this fall.
▪ H&M plans a late October opening.
▪ HomeGoods plans a 2018 opening.
The Legends also recently announced a new parklike addition dubbed “the Lawn.” It will have green space and shaded areas with tables and chairs, along with interactive elements including a jumbo outdoor LED screen. A late fall opening is scheduled.