Shawnee & Lenexa

December 3, 2013

Grand Street Cafe opens in Lenexa

Owner of Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop wants to open Westwood restaurant. Oak Park Mall retail updates

After more than 20 years of business just east of the Country Club Plaza, Grand Street Cafe picked Lenexa for its first expansion.

Partners Rick and Kristi Ghilardi and Greg Hirleman rolled out the same menu for the new 7,753-square-foot restaurant in Lenexa City Center East, 8815 Renner Blvd. But they introduced a new decor of black, white and gray with blue accents, an open kitchen, and banquettes including two-sided serpentine sections running down the center of the main dining room under sparkling chandeliers.

A large bar area is a few steps down on the southwest side with floor-to-ceiling windows currently looking out to the construction site of Perceptive Software’s new headquarters. On the north side are three private event spaces — one to hold up to 16 people, one to hold up to 24 people, and a much larger space that can accommodate up to 100 people.

“We wanted it far away from the original location and I live about two blocks away,” said Rick Ghilardi. “That area is kind of up-and-coming, but with a small amount of full-service restaurants compared to anywhere else in town.”

A Lulu’s for Westwood?

The owner of Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop in the Crossroads Arts District is looking at Westwood for a second restaraunt location.

Malisa Monyakula wants to take over a space at 2701 W. 47th St. for Lulu’s Asian Bistro. She lives in the area and said the proposed site is easy for area residents to walk or bike to, and a short drive from the Plaza and other communities.

“Westwood is such a gem and so centrally located,” she said.

Lulu’s Asian Bistro would have some favorites from the Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop menu as well as new selections “incorporating the different spices and flavors of Southeast Asia.”

If all goes as planned, Lulu’s Asian Bistro would open in late spring 2014.

The area could be turning into a new restaurant row.

Just to the west, Taco Republic opened across the street from Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que.

Just to the east of the proposed Lulu’s location, Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda is considering opening a restaurant called The Town Co., but he hasn’t signed a lease yet.

Oak Park Mall updates

The Art of Shaving is coming to Oak Park Mall in 2014.

The store is scheduled to open Feb. 7. The Art of Shaving, launched in 1996, offers men high-quality shaving products and accessories, along with advice on proper grooming techniques.

Other news for Oak Park Mall, at 95th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park:

•  After temporarily closing to remodel, Build-A-Bear Workshop has reopened with a new, more interactive design.

•  Torrid, a trendy plus size clothing store, is now open.

•  Chipotle Mexican Grill plans a mid-December opening in the food court.

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

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