Life is a voyage best traveled with friends. So says a sign at the Northland’s new Beaches Cantina and the partners in the new restaurant are taking it to heart.
Montica Alexander and Staci Santoro became friends in high school, were roommates in college, then beach buddies on vacations, and now are business partners. But Santoro had to talk Alexander into the restaurant idea.
“Restaurants are so much work. But it is fun work. The most fun you will have for the amount of work you have to do,” Alexander said.
Alexander knows first-hand. She opened a Crossroads restaurant, Kansas City Cafe, in mid-2007, featuring recipes made with Kansas City area products, then sold the restaurant and building to Celina Tio in 2013.
Her former Kansas City Cafe chef, Tom Harley, is back and working on a Beaches Cantina menu that will include some Kansas City Cafe favorites as well as new items with a Caribbean flair — tequila steamed mussels, chorizo cheese fries, lobster bisque, black bean and pork soup, fish tacos, rum and coke steak tacos, lobster roll wrap, chorizo meatloaf sandwich, and entrees like macadamia seared tilapia, jerk grilled pork and Mojo grilled chicken.
Luna Azteca Mexican Grill formerly operated in the space at 10004 N.W. Ambassador Drive. But the Luna Azteca owners closed that location in January to concentrate on their restaurant in The Village at Burlington Creek, 5918 N.W. 63rd Terrace, which opened in late 2013.
Alexander and Santoro have been remodeling the Ambassador Drive space and hope to open Beaches Cantina there by May 11.
▪ Overland Park's Joy Wok Super Buffet, Hibachi Grill & Sushi, a sushi, buffet and Asian-fusion restaurant, has opened at 8320 N. Church Road, in the former Golden Corral building.
▪ Qdoba Mexican Grill plans to open a location in Wilshire Plaza, 9300 N.E. Barry Road, this fall. It also plans a fall opening at 505 Westport Road and at 6350 Johnson Drive in Mission. Qdoba, which was founded in Denver in 1995, specializes in customizable Mexican entrées. It now has more than 600 restaurants in 47 states.
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