Westport’s new Doughnut Lounge wants to be a place for conversation over artisan doughnuts and a drink — from milk or coffee in the morning to wine, beer and specialty cocktails into the night.
Founder Jake Randall, professional skateboarder Sean Malto and Ryan Henrich of Breakout KC are the partners, along with consulting partner Paul Janasz. They plan to open Doughnut Lounge at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at 4117 Pennsylvania Ave.
“Doughnut Lounge will be a place for craft, creativity and conversation,” Randall said. “Conversation over a cup of coffee or a cocktail can change your life.”
Executive chef Tye Eckert is heading the culinary side. Many ingredients will be sourced from the Kansas City Food Circle, a nonprofit organization that connects farmers with restaurants, grocery stores and individuals looking for local organic or free-range products.
The current menu:
▪ Classic offerings will be glazed, old-fashioned, lemon pistachio old-fashioned, tres leches, iced chocolate and double chocolate.
▪ Signature offerings will be ham and cheese (baked ham bits, local cheddar cheese and honey mustard glaze), s’more (chocolate ganache glaze, marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumble), goat cheese (goat cheese custard, root beer glaze and fresh basil), gingerbread (gingerbread cookie filling), apple fritter (with hand-cut apples), egg nog (tres leches doughnut with egg nog glaze), maple bacon (bacon bits and maple glaze), candy cane (chocolate cake, peppermint frosting and candy cane bits), Lucky Charms (cereal milk glaze and cereal bits) and caramel apple (apple cider cake, caramel glaze and sea salt).
▪ Noduts are a “meal in a doughnut.” Glazed & gravy (glazed, sage and sausage gravy, and fried egg) and jammer (biscuit doughnut, homemade jam and local butter) will be offered for breakfast. Chicken fried (glazed, fried chicken and hot sauce) and vegetarian (sweet corn cake doughnut, roasted garlic mushrooms, goat cheese and arugula) will be offered for dinner.
Breakfast noduts will be served from opening until 4 p.m., and dinner noduts will be served from 4 p.m. to close. They came up with the name when Randall’s 2-year-old daughter, Arletta, pronounced doughnuts as “noduts.”
Eckert grew up in the restaurant business and has held sponsorship events throughout the country, working with local chefs. He plans to change the Doughnut Lounge menu monthly and then maybe every two weeks by next summer.
Doughnut Lounge also will have a full bar serving classic cocktails and signature cocktails like Eagle Street (sherry, fernet, juice and cucumber) and daily breakfast (a rotating shot and beer). Dominic Petrucci, a bartender at nearby Julep, consulted on the bar menu.
It also will feature a different local coffee roaster every three months, as well as roasters from Randall’s home state of Michigan, Eckert’s home state of Illinois and other states. It will have a cold brew and nitro brew (also known as draft brew) on tap from Alchemy Coffee & Bake House in Lawrence.
Doughnut Lounge plans to cater events like graduations, weddings, baby showers, company events and parties. The partners also may open other locations here or in other markets in the next few years.
Randall studied youth ministry at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, where he met Eckert. Randall later opened a coffee shop in Indiana, but while appearing at area churches and coffee houses with his folk band, he grew to love this area. His now-wife, Megan, also had moved to Kansas City to earn a master’s degree at Rockhurst University.
“It was just a place you realize ‘it’s home,’ that warm, fuzzy feeling you get like when you go to a Royals game,” Randall said. “And everyone down here in Westport is rooting for each other — Port Fonda, Julep, Dempsey’s.”
Randall has spent the last few months gutting the 2,533-square-foot former Imagery space, facing delays caused by city codes, increasing costs and construction problems converting the former apparel shop into a restaurant. He raised $27,009 from 338 backers on a Kickstarter campaign, exceeding his goal of $25,000, to help with some of the costs.
“I’m indebted to them, for their support, their encouragement and their backing. When I would want to give up, a lot of people in the community said, ‘You’ve got this.’ I’m so grateful,” Randall said.
Hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It will be closed Wednesdays.