BurgerFi in Leawood off to busy start

05/13/2014 1:27 PM

05/13/2014 1:29 PM

It’s probably a good sign when a restaurant runs out of to-go menus just a week after opening.

Florida-based BurgerFi opened its first area location May 2 in Leawood’s Park Place, 11635 Ash St., and its new customers quickly grabbed up the menus to take home. There are a lot of items to take in in just one visit.

“When people come in they usually aren’t ready to order. They want to study the menu,” said Josh Kurzban, area franchisee with his wife Michelle. They have handed out about 2,000 menus at the restaurant and at area events.

BurgerFi, which was founded in early 2011 in south Florida, offers burgers made with all-natural grass-fed beef ( meaning free range, no growth hormones, no antibiotics, and never frozen) with buns branded with the BurgerFi logo. 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, such as key lime or red velvet.

It also offers 30 different burger toppings including fried egg, American cheese, white cheddar cheese, Peter Luger Steak Sauce, grilled mushrooms and BurgerFi chili.

French fries — hand-cut, never frozen — come with such toppings as hot Cajun spices, cheese sauce, Parmesan cheese and herbs, or salt and vinegar. There’s also The Secret Menu that includes extra crispy fries or fries smothered with grilled diced onions, American cheese, mustard and BurgerFi sauce, and burgers like the Hippie Veggie with two grilled quinoa burgers served on a potato bun with a side of relish.

The Kurzbans plan to open a BurgerFi at 918 Massachusetts in Lawrence in early August, and they also are looking at a site near the soon-to-open IKEA in Merriam.

Updates for Leawood’s Park Place

Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe plans a mid-July opening in Park Place.

The cafe is taking the former Marv’s Original Delicatessen spot at 11554 Ash St., Leawood. Marv’s closed in March and the space will be remodeled to the Pickleman’s decor.

Pickleman’s serves fresh toasted sandwiches, salads and soups, pizza and desserts.

Area franchisee Jordan Starke also owns locations in Overland Park, Waldo, and on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, as well as three locations in Columbia. The restaurants deliver within a radius of 5 to 10 minutes of their locations.

“I think Leawood is going to be a very good location for us,” Starke said. “The Overland Park location has been delivering to that area so now we can do it so much faster.”

Second Saints Pub + Patio for Lenexa

Riley Drive Entertainment Inc., owners and operators of Saints Pub + Patio operations, is in final negotiations for a 5,000-square-foot space in Renner89 at City Center Lenexa at 89th Street and Renner Boulevard. If the deal is completed, Saints plans a September opening.

“It will be just a nice neighborhood sports bar,” said Scott Anderson, a partner in Riley Drive. “We will focus more on the daytime, happy hour and the evening crowd and less of the nightlife like the other Lenexa location.”

There are currently Saints locations in Independence, Lenexa, and Shawnee, one in Omaha, and two in Des Moines. A Lawrence location recently closed after three years and Riley is in negotations for another restaurant to take that spot.

Anderson and partner Marc Mundt named the company Riley Drive after the street they grew up on in Iowa. They also are looking at locations in Lee’s Summit and the Northland for another Saints Pub + Patio, as well as at sites for a new upscale Mexican restaurant concept with a “vibrant atmosphere” and nightlife.

Perceptive Software is taking the second level at Renner89. Another first floor space, 4,665 square feet, is available for additional restaurant and retail and the space can be divided up for two or three tenants.

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