Morning Day Cafe: a family affair on Liberty’s square

07/15/2014 2:00 AM

07/16/2014 1:14 PM

Since Ayden Barchers learned to talk, he would run around the house, waking up his family with a lively call — “It’s morning day.”

“It is his way of saying it’s a fresh new day full of great possibilities,” said his mother Miranda Barchers.

So she took that line and incorporated it in the name of her new breakfast and lunch restaurant, Morning Day Cafe, hoping to pass on some of Ayden’s cheerful outlook to her customers.

The cafe is scheduled to open later this week in Liberty.

Morning Day Cafe will focus on “above free-trade” coffee and teas, smoothies and natural whole foods (most locally sourced) and other menu items that will appeal to the health conscious consumer and those with food allergies.

The cafe is on the square in Historic Downtown Liberty at 6 E. Franklin St., taking half of the former Cork & Brew space. The new Luigi’s Italian Restaurant took the other half.

Barchers background has set a good foundation for her new endeavor. She’s worked in all aspects of food service and in radio marketing. She’s also worked in the health care industry with patients who had special diets, and several of her family members also have food allergies as well.

“It is a huge ordeal,” she said. “It can take hours to find a place. Then it was always a point of concern to get food that they could eat. Even after they ordered, the food would come out with issues.”

Morning Day Cafe’s kitchen will serve up such items as the AD Daybreak sandwich (with egg, ham, sun-dried tomato and herbed cream cheese). It’s named after Ayden, now 4.

His sister Lilly, 12, also has a signature sandwich, Lolly with Cheese (with mozzarella, basil, sun-dried tomato, strawberries and strawberry balsamic redux sauce).

Morning Day Cafe also will serve the Rise and Shine (quinoa with seasonal fruit) and other sandwiches like roast beef, turkey or chicken with a choice of breads, salads and sides like carrot chips and guacamole with blue corn chips.

Barchers used the family’s savings to open the business, cutting corners by buying chairs at auctions and garage sales and refinishing them with bright colors, but that also fits in with her commitment to sustainability. She hopes the cafe becomes a community gathering place. She’ll have a “music board” where musicians can post area events and a community library. The cafe also may stay open late one night a month to showcase works by an area artist.

Morning Day Cafe’s hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Vacancy on the Boulevard

After nearly three years of operations, Lagniappe Nica’s Cajun Kitchen has closed.

Chef Bryan Merker took over the former Shiraz Restaurant space at 320 Southwest Blvd., opening Nica’s 320 in August 2011. He served “fusion comfort food” and a handful of Cajun items, all to “moderate” success.

But two years later, Merker tried to make the restaurant more profitable. He changed the name to Lagniappe Nica’s Cajun Kitchen to reflect a menu that focused on Cajun cuisine, including apple moonshine smoked pork shoulder and smoked-bacon praline brulee.

Lagniappe, which “can mean something sweet and unexpected,” was much more successful than Nica’s 320, he said.

But then Merker branched out, opening Beignet in the City Market and consulting on two other smaller restaurant concepts — The Bite, also in the City Market, and FooDoo in midtown. The experiences sold him on the smaller venues.

“The overhead is less and you can open multiple locations and not bank on just one spot,” he said. “I really like creating the concept and building the brand much more than the day-to-day operations. We want to offer a certain price point and something different, outside the box.”

Merker temporarily shut down Lagniappe on June 28 to remodel parts of the kitchen and refresh the dining room. But he also was looking at ways to “reconcept” the restaurant, either with new partners or by subleasing it to new owners.

“But we just couldn’t get it done in the time frame we needed. All of our licenses were coming up for renewal so if there were changes, that’s when we had to do them,” Merker said.

It might not be long before a new restaurant moves into the spot. Ivan Marquez is scouting locations for a second Frida’s Taqueria and is interested in the Lagniappe space. But so is another Crossroads area restaurant group.

Quick bite

Eater — a national network of blogs covering restaurants, bars and nightlife — is putting its spotlight on Kansas City barbecue, specifically burnt ends. Its new feature, “The Burnt Ends of Kansas City: A Guided Tour,” looks at a dozen area smokehouses from Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque to Snead’s Bar-B-Q. But it picks Gates Bar-B-Q and L.C.’s Bar-B-Q for the best burnt ends.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC

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