July 30, 2013

Remodel of Hawthorne Plaza could include YaYa’s relocation

The preliminary development plan calls for upgrading the center with new facades, landscaping and outdoor seating areas to encourage consumers to linger. The plan calls for relocating YaYa’s Euro Bistro and putting up a new building to house a Container Store.

YaYa’s Euro Bistro is celebrating its 20th year in Overland Park’s Hawthorne Plaza. But it might not celebrate a 21st there.

Hawthorne Plaza has a preliminary development plan that it will present to the planning department in mid-August. The plan calls for upgrading the center with new facades, landscaping and outdoor seating areas to encourage consumers to linger.

“We want to give the center more of a ‘sense of place’ with more pedestrian elements so people will want to come and shop and spend more time there,” said Doug Grossenbacher of CBRE, the management company for Hawthorne Plaza.

The plan also includes tearing down the current YaYa’s building and replacing it with a 24,000-square-foot structure that would hold the area’s first Container Store.

The Container Store is a chain of stores offering storage and organization supplies. Since discussions are in the preliminary stages no lease has been signed.

The problem is PB Restaurants Inc., owners of YaYa’s, doesn’t want to give up the prime corner location at 119th Street and Roe Avenue. YaYa’s lease is up in May 2014.

“We want to renew in Hawthorne at our current location but if we can’t we will relocate close by,” said Paul Khoury of PB

But maybe not in Hawthorne. There are four shopping centers on the corner of 119th and Roe and tenants have jumped ship before for a better spot or a better deal on the other side of the street.

A restaurant space is available on the east side of Hawthorne, at 11942 Roe, but other operations have tried and failed there — WestChase Grille, Canuck’s, Forks in the Air, Trumpets, Cast Iron Cafe, and 40 Sardines.

Overland Park's Joy Wok returns

Nearly seven months after a kitchen fire shut it down, Joy Wok Super Buffet Hibachi Grill has returned.

“Finally. It took a long time,” said Jennifer Liu, manager.

Instead of a quick restoration of the restaurant, the owner took his time to remodel and expand its offerings, including putting in a larger sushi bar and new hibachi grill.

At lunch on Monday the line was out the door and a group of customers decided not to wait. But the line moved quickly and for a $9 weekday price (including tax) the impatient customers missed a variety of items, including a few more upscale choices, Liu said.

The buffet menu includes baked salmon, KC Strip pie, bacon-wrapped shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, even tiramusi and ice cream. The restaurant also offers other specials like luncheon combinations and a seafood buffet. The regular menu includes fried rice and noodles, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and vegetable entrees, and chef’s specialties.

Several Asian buffets have come and gone in the area. The key to buffet success, Liu said, is freshness. So Joy Wok cuts up fruits and vegetables for the salad bar twice a day, and continually changes the choices at the hibachi grill - including sausage, chicken, beef and seafood.

Joy Wok, at 11920 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, is open daily.

Corbin Park update

An Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse has been on the “proposed” tenant roster of Corbin Park since before the center’s official groundbreaking in mid-2007. Now the owner of Corbin Park, at 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, said he has a signed lease for a fall 2014 opening.

Officials with Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse couldn’t be reached for comment.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC

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