Cityscape

Country Club Plaza steakhouse closing after more than five decades

Country Club Plaza steakhouse is closing after more than five decades
Country Club Plaza steakhouse is closing after more than five decades

Plaza III The Steakhouse will shut its doors March 10 after 54 years on the Country Club Plaza.

David Haddad, president of Haddad Restaurant Group, owners of Plaza III, confirmed the closing but declined to comment further.

Plaza III is one of the metro’s oldest restaurants still operating in its original space at 4749 Pennsylvania Ave. and one of the oldest tenants on the Plaza. It has about 30 full- and part-time employees.

It opened on Christmas Day 1963 with an old-time steakhouse decor of dark woods, low ceilings and banquette seating, and a menu that has changed only slightly over the years — USDA prime strip steaks and porterhouses, double-cut lamb rib chops, veal Marsala, crab cakes and Oysters Rockefeller — and classic sides such as creamed spinach, steamed asparagus, baked potatoes and Caesar salad.

In a statement, Meredith Keeler, general manager of the Plaza, said, “Kansas Citians and visitors alike cherished Plaza III for many years. The restaurant provided decades of first-class food, drink and service to its patrons. We thank the owners and wish them all the best in the future.”

Joe Wilcox helmed Plaza III for nearly two decades in its heyday, leaving in 2007.

“That was Gilbert/Robinson’s original restaurant (on the Plaza) and you think of all the people who came through that went on to start other restaurants and restaurant companies,” Wilcox said. “It was Kansas City’s steakhouse. People still talk about it — the food, the service and all the people who used to go to that place, the athletes, the corporate people. It was the spot.”

In 1992, Haddad Restaurant Group purchased the assets of Creative Restaurant Management Inc. of Fairway, which owned several Plaza restaurants including Plaza III, Annie’s Santa Fe and Fedora. It still owns Fred P. Ott’s on the Plaza.

Plaza III faced increased competition in recent years. It outlasted Morton’s Grille and Ruth’s Chris Steak House but was still competing with such nearby steakhouse operations as the Capital Grille and Stock Hill.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC

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