Olathe’s Great Mall adds art studio

03/04/2014 4:57 PM

03/04/2014 4:57 PM

The Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe is giving its customers another option besides shopping and eating.

The mall, at 20700 W. 151st St., already offers a miniature train museum, glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course, indoor amusement park, indoor playland, movie theaters and other entertainment options. Now patrons can create a piece of art to take home.

Skills to Succeed opened Create Art Studio in the mall in January. The Olathe-based nonprofit agency works with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, but the new studio also is open to the public. It offers classes in a variety of mediums — watercolor, acrylic, card making, mixed media and more. It also offers open studio times.

Class fees are typically about $10, depending on the cost of supplies.

In other Great Mall updates: Two original tenants, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Claire’s accessories boutique, have closed in the mall. However, a new pretzel shop plans to open in the food court in April.

Jefferson’s restaurant to open in Olathe

Emerson Investment Partners LLC, Overland Park, will open its first area Jefferson’s restaurant.

Emerson is a new franchisee of the Nashville-based chain. It has signed a lease for the former Johnny Brusco’s New York Style Pizza space in Ridgeview Plaza, 10540 S. Ridgeview Road, Olathe. An April opening is scheduled.

Emerson also plans two more area locations.

Jefferson “Jeff” Webb saw a need for a local hangout while a student at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. After graduating, he sold his treasured baseball card collection and pooled funds with a loan from his parents to open the first Jefferson’s in mid-1991. Despite a small menu, the restaurant was a big hit, often selling out of its hot wings.

A Lawrence location opened in 2001. But then people kept pestering the owners to franchise. Now there are two corporate restaurants and 16 franchise locations in Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee. Another franchise-owned restaurant is scheduled to open in Alabama in April.

Jefferson’s is known for its wings and oysters, but the menu also includes specialty burgers, entree salads and chicken fingers.

Johnny Brusco’s closed in late 2013, according to the landlord.

Quick bites

• The new area franchisees for BurgerFi are planning a Lawrence location.

Josh and Michelle Kurzban said they will open a BurgerFi at 918 Massachusetts in midspring. Chutney’s Indian Diner Bar formerly operated in the space.

The Kurzbans also are opening a BurgerFi in Leawood’s Park Place, 11635 Ash St., in late April or early May.

BurgerFi, based in Palm Beach, Fla., offers burgers made with all-natural grass-fed beef (meaning free range, no growth hormones, no antibiotics and never frozen). The menu includes Angus burgers, brisket burgers with 28-day dry-aged ground brisket, veggie burgers made with quinoa, Kobe beef hotdogs, craft beers, wine, and frozen custard and frozen concretes made with cane sugar.

The restaurants are environmentally friendly, with chairs made from recycled Coke bottles and tables made out of compressed recycled wood.

BurgerFi also will be a Sporting Kansas City soccer sponsor.

• El Potro Mexican Cafe Cantina has opened in Bonner Springs. The owners purchased the former pizza shop at 13035 Canaan Drive. They also have locations in Paola and Lawrence.

Menu items include seafood chimichangas, deep-fried tacos, verde pork tamales and shrimp quesadillas. The restaurant also serves breakfast from from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, including chorizo and eggs and Burrito Colorado (ham, cheese, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and cheese poppers in a flour tortilla topped with ranchero sauce and guacamole).

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