The Hen House Market at Corinth Square kept its doors open during an eight-month remodeling, doing the big jobs overnight like demolition, removing the drop ceiling and painting the “new” ceiling, and putting in new floor tile.
Store officials admit it was still stressful for some shoppers, but some saw it as an adventure — wondering what had changed since their last visit.
Aggravation or adventure ended, the Hen House Market will celebrate with an official “grand opening” starting today, with events running through next Tuesday, including extensive food samplings, giveaways to the first 500 customers each day, and food demonstrations. Other grand opening events will be held later this month and in July.
The Corinth Square grocery store, at 4050 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, converted to a Hen House Market in 1991. Customers will probably see the 45,000-square-foot store as being much larger, but it grew just a bit by utilizing some back room storage space and combining the two entryways into one — and raising the ceiling, which opened up the space.
A Roasterie Cafe is on the right as customers walk in (the Kansas City coffee roaster’s first cafe inside of another business). The expanded “grab-and-go” area is on the north side of the grocery store, featuring such items as daily lunch specials, prepared sandwiches and sandwiches made-to-order, rotisserie chicken and meats smoked on-site, and a salad bar.
The Cheese Shop at Hen House offers more than 300 different cheeses along with an olive bar. A hearth oven area lets customers see Farm to Market Bread Co.’s breads as they bake on-site. The seafood department also will steam, broil, cook or bake customer’s orders.
Other changes of note:
• Specialty food products like gluten-free and organic brands are on the same shelves as their traditional counterparts.
• The frozen food section is now on the south side of the store, closer to the checkouts so customers can pick up those items last.
• The store also is seeing a younger demographic, including parents with small children. So to entice them in, it plans to sell diapers at cost.
• The store has many green initiatives including LED lighting.
• A comfy lounge area in front features a widescreen TV mostly turned to food programs and large windows looking out on the shopping center.
The timeline of parent company, Ball’s Food Stores in Kansas City, Kan., is featured in a mural in the entryway. Ball’s also plans to expand and remodel its Hen House Market in the Village shopping center in Prairie Village in early 2014.Smooth J Cafe
Smooth J Cafe plans to open in late July in The Shops at Corporate Woods, 9940 College Blvd., Overland Park.
Doug and Deborah Scott and their son, Brian Scott, are the owners, along with their friend Nancy Petru, who lives in Reno, Nev.
The Scotts will operate the restaurant on a daily basis with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and their own recipes. Breakfast items will include parfaits, muffins, and house-made buttermilk biscuit breakfast sandwiches. For lunch, the owners plan to offer a variety of entree salads with house-made dressing, deli sandwiches with fresh-cut meat, panini sandwiches, chicken wings using the Scotts’ own sauces, and sides like the tropical pasta salad with fresh fruit.
Smooth J Cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch weekdays and “happy hour” offerings could be added later. It also will be available in the evenings for private events and it will offer catering services.
“We think a lot of our business for breakfast will be workers grabbing something quick to take to their office to eat. But they will be able to dine in if they choose to,” said Doug Scott.
The Smooth J name stands for Smooth Jazz and the operation will feature live music by Smooth Jazz artists.To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC