Cafe Europa opens in Union Hill, the chicken comes to NKC’s Chicken N Pickle

During morning and evening rush hours, hundreds of cars speed by the new Cafe Eupora Union Hill at 2976 Gillham Road — until they stack up bumper to bumper waiting for the light to turn.

If that isn’t enough to pique the interests of passersby in the new restaurant and market/bakery, owners Nate Feldmiller and Dan Weber are planning many more enticements.

First, Cafe Europa Union Hill has 150 free parking spaces in the garage, as well as street parking.

Then there’s the menu for dine-in or to-go. The original location in Crestwood became known for its seasonal, chef-driven menu, with most items changing monthly. Union Hill will offer a similar but expanded menu, which will include deli chopped salad, chickpea curry, tagliatelle, pastrami sandwiches, jackfruit sauteed with miso sauce, and shareable “platters” of cured meats, smoked salmon, cheeses and a relish tray.

It also is offering daily specials — from Monday’s salt cod fritters to Sunday’s chicken dishes. (But its fried chicken will only be on the menu Sundays at the Crestwood location). New cocktails include the Holy Smoke (with mezcal, ancho infusion, Cocchi Americano, lemon and bitters) and the Southern Lights (agave tequila, Aperol, lemon and sparkling wine).

The Union Hill location seats about 55 people in the dining room with a view of the open kitchen, as well as 22 in the bar and 20 people in a private dining room.

For those who can’t stay and linger, it has a market/bakery with grab-and-go items, including its popular lemon cake, as well as pies, tarts, cookies, cupcakes and red velvet cake, salads, sandwiches and sides.

The new Cafe Europa expects to have more walk-in traffic from the more than 1,000 people who live in the area and hundreds of people working nearby. But it also expects to draw from surrounding neighborhoods, including downtown and the Crossroads.

“We just kind of expanded what we do to fit the parameters of the neighborhood. A mix of dine-in and grab-and-go to be more accessible to the needs of the neighbors,” Weber said.

Cafe Europa Union Hill offers breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Both lunch and dinner menus are served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The grab-and-go market is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Cafe Europa opened as Europa a Cafe in 2001. Feldmiller became the chef in 2008 and Weber joined in 2010. They purchased the location in a deal that closed in June and signed a lease for the new Union Hill spot in September. Their neighboring business in Crestwood, Underdog Wine Co., also recently opened next to Cafe Europa in Union Hill.

North KC’s rotisserie chicken restaurant

A new concept, combining a pickleball-centered entertainment hub with a rotisserie chicken restaurant, opened this summer in North Kansas City.

The “pickle” in Chicken N Pickle features four indoor and four outdoor pickleball courts, lawn games and bocce balls, fire pit, video wall for watch parties, and a beer garden with concession stand selling such items as Thou Mayest coffee and Greek yogurt with local honey and granola.

The “chicken” in Chicken N Pickle opened Dec. 12 in the complex on a half-acre at 1761 Burlington St.

At the 6,000-square-foot, freestanding restaurant, customers order, pay and pick up their food at the counter before taking it to-go or finding a place at the picnic table-style seating. Employees check on dine-in customers, bringing them refills, side items or desserts.

Menu items include wood-fired rotisserie chicken, wings, three sandwiches (pulled pork, fried chicken or grass-fed flat burger with a choice of sweet, dill or spicy pickle), and three salads (Kale Caesar, NKC Powerbowl with farro and quinoa, and the Skinny Cobb), and sides such as hand-cut fries, beets, spicy slaw and Brussels sprouts.

It seats 254 people in the dining room and at the bar, and the space includes a fireplace and garage doors that open during nicer weather.

The owners are looking at additional locations in such cities markets as Dallas, Denver, St. Louis and Wichita.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC