When trendy restaurants pick a former gas station to open in, they typically pick vintage buildings that stopped selling gas long ago.
“We wanted a location that wasn’t so cookie-cutter. Something unique,” said Whitney VinZant, president of the Kansas City-based Louie’s.
It will be called Louie’s Wine Dive & Kitchen 119 to emphasis Louie’s scratch-kitchen where even the pasta is made in-house. The new restaurant will have some new signature dishes, along with its popular lobster poutine, four pork gnocchi, shrimp Diablo and pan-seared barramundi.
“It drives us nuts when people drive by because they don’t think we have any food,” VinZant said. “We put a lot of passion into our food. It is really western European done in a non-traditional, creative way.”
Louie's has a full-bar with about 100 wines, along with specialty cocktails and local craft beers.
The partners in the new Overland Park restaurant will be VinZant and Corey Gonzalez, who also is director of operations. Aaron Shields, an equity partner in the Waldo location, also will be an equity partner the new Overland Park restaurant and oversee operations at both. It will have about 45 employees including a managing partner and executive chef.
The owners will spend the next few months renovating the spot for a scheduled May opening.
Louie’s first opened in Iowa in spring 2012 and added a Waldo restaurant in October 2012. It also has locations in Omaha, Minneapolis and Waukee, Iowa.
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