Southern-inspired EJ’s Urban Eatery is planning an early-to-mid-August opening in the West Bottoms.
Owners Erik Gaucher and John Smith, the E and J in the name, have leased the former Jerry’s Woodsweather Cafe building at 1414 W. Ninth St.
Smith will be the executive chef. He had previously been with 801 Chophouse in the Power & Light District, Pig & Finch in Leawood and The Jacobson in the Crossroads.
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Gaucher works in wealth management and helped finalize the business plan for the restaurant before becoming a partner.
Customers will order at the counter. Dine-in customers will then be served at their tables.
The restaurant will feature what the owners call a “meat and three” concept, which is popular in operations in the South. Customers pick one meat from a daily selection of three to six choices, and three side dishes from a list of options.
But at EJ’s, customers don’t have to order a meat and three sides. They can select from a variety of options, mostly comfort foods that will be written on a chalkboard.
For breakfast, look for such items as shrimp and grits and fried chicken sandwiches.
Meats will include espresso-rubbed smoked brisket with Alabama white barbecue sauce, and roasted trout with brown butter and almonds. Sides will include braised local greens with pork, onions and jalapeño, roasted Brussels sprouts with green apples and honey, Lake Charles dirty rice and summer succotash.
EJ’s will also have soups, salads and house-made desserts, along with specialty cocktails using spirits made in the Kansas City area, local craft beers, hand-crafted sodas, fresh-squeezed limeades and lemonades, and specialty teas.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday for breakfast and lunch; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday for dinner; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for brunch.
The owners plan to later add a happy hour during the week, along with a Sunday brunch.
Screamin’ Eagle Bar & Grill had previously operated in the West Bottoms space for a short time.