James Beard award-winning chef Michael Smith will be a partner in a new Overland Park restaurant.
Coco Bolos Wood Fired Grill & Cantina, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant with outdoor patio, is scheduled to open in the new Prairiefire development in May 2014.
Coco Bolos was founded 13 years ago in Manhattan, Kan., and built up a loyal following from Kansas State University.
It is known for its Southwestern and New Mexican cuisine.
Menu items include the Tijuana Trainwreck (baked layers of corn tortillas, machaca chicken, chile verde, chile con carne, beans and Monterey Jack cheese, roasted corn and sour cream), Evil Desert Chicken (blackened chicken breast over grilled potatoes with caramelized peppers and onions, Monterey Jack cheese, sauteed vegetables and salsa del fuego) and the Al Fresca Salad (grilled chicken, smoked shrimp, pico de gallo, guacamole, black olives, sprouts, queso fresca and jalapeno ranch on fresh field greens).
Those popular items will remain on the Overland Park menu but Smith also plans to add some new selections.
“New, contemporary versions of old classics — some interesting tacos, some interesting nachos,” Smith said. “When you walk in it will look like its going to be fun. But a little bit more upscale and a little bit more refined because it will be in Prairiefire.”
Coco Bolos will offer dine-in, carry-out, delivery and catering services.
Merrill Cos. is the developer of Prairiefire, an upscale mixed-use center on 58 acres south of 135th Street between Lamar and Nall avenues.
Coco Bolos opened a south Leawood location in mid-2006 in another Merrill Cos. development, Ironhorse Centre, but that restaurant closed in early 2008.
Residential had yet to build up in that area and construction also had blocked off a main artery to the restaurant.
Merrill kept the rights to open more Coco Bolos and decided to open its first one in Prairiefire.
REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store, recently opened in the center.
Tenants opening in spring 2014 include Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates, Pinstripes Bowling/Bocce/Bistro, Cinetopia, Rock & Brews, Paradise Diner, Newport Grill and Wasabi Sushi.
Prairiefire also is hosting traveling exhibitions through a unique collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.