When Suman Kandagatla first tried Cajun cuisine in New Orleans, he not only vowed to bring the cuisine home to St. Joseph, he hoped to one day franchise it, like burgers and fried chicken.
He’s taking small steps to get there.
In late 2014, he opened his first Bourbon Street Cajun Cuisine in St. Joseph, in a spot that would seat only 50 people. Six months later he relocated to a larger corner building in downtown St. Joseph that could seat more than 422 people in the main dining room, bar, private dining area and patio.
In October 2015, he took another “small step,” entering the Kansas City market with a new restaurant in Zona Rosa, close enough to St. Joseph so he can travel easily between the two operations.
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The corner location, near Dillard’s at 8741 N.W. Prairie View Road, seats about 125 people in the dining room, bar and patio.
His most popular menu items include the fried alligator appetizer, jambalaya, the house pasta (with creamy Creole sauce) and Crawfish Étouffée & Tails.
Bourbon Street’s menu also includes “Bar Trash” (blackened crab meat, crawfish and shrimp with white rice and lemon butter), appetizers like stuffed jalapenos, Mexican oysters (oysters on the half shell topped with pico de gallo), crab nachos, Po’Boys and sandwiches, smothered pork chops and steaks.
Kandagatla is currently working on some new menu items to debut in late March, including the Tour of Louisiana (a platter with jambalaya, gumbo, dirty rice, red-beans-and-rice and Étouffée).
“People are enthusiastic toward the Cajun food; they want to try something different every time they come in,” said Kandagatla, a native of India.
Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Monday.
NKC’s new rock climbing gym
RoKC, plans to open a new 20,000-square-foot climbing and fitness facility at 1501 Howell St. in North Kansas City.
The facility, which is scheduling a March opening, will offer two types of climbing styles — bouldering (which includes climbing at lower heights without ropes), and top rope and lead climbing (which is climbing at higher levels while attached to a rope with a climbing partner who holds the rope). The facility also will have a cardio and free weights fitness center, and a yoga studio.