Chow Town

Two more KC restaurants turn to Kickstarter

Shanita McAfee, executive chef and owner of Magnolia’s Contemporary Southern Bistro.
Shanita McAfee, executive chef and owner of Magnolia’s Contemporary Southern Bistro. The Kansas City Star

Two more Kansas City restaurants are turning to the public to help fund their new venues.

▪ Shanita McAfee worked at several area restaurants before opening Magnolia’s Catering in 2008 and then Magnolia’s Contemporary Southern Bistro in April 2012. In September 2014, she appeared on the Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” winning $14,800.

But she shuttered the restaurant in February saying she needed a bigger space with room for a bar, as well as more visibility.

She recently signed a lease in Gomer’s Plaza, 9916B Holmes Road, and plans to open in late summer or early fall.

The new Magnolia’s will be open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering such favorites as the Southern Benedict, Nutter Butter French toast, red velvet waffles, shrimp and grits, Gouda mac and cheese, and pulled pork sliders. The new venue also will have live jazz.

Magnolia’s kickstarter campaign hopes to raise $15,000 to help defray costs at the new location. By 12:30 p.m. July 21 it had 39 backers pledging $6,030.

From 6 to 9 p.m. July 30, McAfee will team with chefs Jerrold Brooks of Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, Eric Harland of MadPig BBQ and Terry Mille of Cowtown Cheesecake Co. Bakery & Caffe, for a “gumbo showdown” that will offer a sneak peek at the restaurant, as well as wrap up the fundraiser, which will end at 10:26 p.m. that night. The cost for the showdown is $30 per person.

▪ Jeremy Lane, chef/general manager at Market 3 in the River Market, and his wife, Megan Kendall, pastry chef at Market 3, plan to open The Homesteader Cafe, at 100 E. Seventh St., (formerly Thai Place).

The Homesteader Cafe would focus on locally sourced ingredients and be a place “where the community comes to eat, a place where people know each other,” they said. It will have breakfast pastries and coffee, then lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Friday, as well as brunch and dinner on Saturday, and brunch Sunday. It will be closed Monday.

It also will have a small menu, a choice of about 10 items for each meal period.

“We know that too large of a menu makes it harder to get the food out in a timely manner and takes longer for people to order because they must then read the whole menu,” they said on the Kickstarter site.

They signed a lease on Monday and plan to open in early September. But they need help paying for the operation and would use the Kickstarter funds for some equipment — coolers, mixers, a make table — as well as new paint and flooring. But the space already has a cooler, hood, freezer and tables and booths.

With 9 days to go, 51 backers have pledged $6,392 towards the couple’s Kickstarter goal of $25,000. The campaign ends at 7:59 on July 31.

“We are putting our hearts and dream out to you,” they say on their Kickstarter page.

Lane said he had followed a couple of other local projects that raised the funds they needed on Kickstarter.

“We wanted to make sure we have enough to open and don’t have to cut corners,” he said.

Other area restaurants that have recently turned to Kickstarter include Columbus Park Ramen Shop and Plate in Brookside.

The Kickstarter projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.

Pledgers receive something in return. For example, those people pledging $25 or more to Magnolia’s campaign get a quart of housemade gumbo, while people pledging $25 to the Homesteader campaign will get two coffees and two pastries.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to