In her native Ethiopia, Ayda Homa had a coffee shop where locals would gather — not to sit alone with their laptops and cellphones, but to savor a steaming cup of fresh coffee while conversing with each other on issues of the day.
After moving to Olathe two years ago to provide a better life for her family, she stayed home to take care of her four children while her husband, Teshome Ditamo, worked two jobs. But this year she was ready to get back into the coffee shop business.
The couple opened Ayda Ethiopian Coffee at 1723 S. Mur-Len Road, Olathe, in February. They use mostly Ethiopian beans, selling coffee drinks and bags of roasted coffee. They also take orders for Ethiopian bread on Tuesdays that customers can pick up later in the week.
Fresh pastry items include large slices of house-made baklava, double chocolate muffins, meat sambusa and lentil sambusa. They plan to add sandwiches to the menu soon.
From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays, they also host a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony where Homa takes visitors through the process of washing, roasting, grinding and brewing the beans, and then serving a complimentary cup with Ethiopian bread and popcorn.
“They like gathering, conversing together and getting to know each other,” Homa said, “and discuss anything they want — our economy, our society, our political issues,” Homa said. “It’s live, human relationships.”
Two Pizza Locales for Overland Park?
Oak Park Mall wants to replace the now-dark Mimi’s Cafe with a new multi-tenant building.
The proposal submitted to the Overland Park Planning Commission calls for a 6,832-square-foot building with patio just west of Cheddar’s Casual Cafe at the corner of 95th Street and Quivira Road. It would have three tenants: Pizzeria Locale on one end, a Zoës Kitchen on the other end and Nylon Salon in the middle.
Oak Park Mall officials said construction will probably start in September. The Mimi’s Cafe building would be demolished and the new building constructed for a late spring 2016 opening. Mimi’s Cafe closed its area locations in April 2014.
▪ Pizzeria Locale is a partnership between Chipotle and Colorado restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. The first area restaurant is to open this summer at 505 W. 75th St., next to a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Waldo.
Pizzeria Locale is described as a quick-serve, contemporary pizzeria inspired by the traditional pizzerias of Naples, Italy. The menu includes specialty pies, fired in a custom-designed, high-temperature oven.
A Pizzeria Locale spokeswoman confirmed that the company is in talks for locations in Oak Park Mall, as well as Corbin Park at 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park. The Oak Park Mall restaurant would be 2,503 square feet.
▪ Zoës Kitchen opened its first area restaurant on the Country Club Plaza on March 31. Plans call for a 2,802-square-foot Zoës Kitchen in the proposed Oak Park Mall building. Zoës Kitchen officials couldn’t be reached for comment.
No information was available on Nylon Salon.
“We are working with several prospects, but we don’t have any signed leases to announce at this time,” said Sean Phillips, spokesman for Oak Park Mall.
New Leawood restaurant
The Grille at Park Place plans a mid-June opening in the 5,190-square-foot space at 5270 W. 116th Place in Leawood. Mitch Kerns is partnering with executive chef Kevin Clayton. The restaurant will offer “upscale, traditional American cuisine.”
Mestizo opened in late 2011, using the recipes of Food Network’s Aarón Sánchez. It closed in late 2014.
Bare Esthetics Medical Spa also plans to open a Park Place location this spring at 5230 W. 116th Place. It will offer a variety of treatments, including laser hair removal and spray tanning.
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