Cityscape

Locally owned Leawood restaurant closing after 3 years, owner says it’s ‘frustrating’

The Grille at Park Place’s jumbo lump crab cakes entree comes with two sides, such as gourmet mac and cheese and hand-cut fries.
The Grille at Park Place’s jumbo lump crab cakes entree comes with two sides, such as gourmet mac and cheese and hand-cut fries. sgish@kcstar.com

After three years in Leawood, the Grille at Park Place will be closing its doors at the end of business Sept. 1.

The locally owned and operated restaurant, at 5270 W. 116th Place in Park Place, said in a Facebook post that it has “not been able to achieve the level of sales to become profitable.”

The space was previously occupied by Mestizo by Aaron Sanchez, using recipes created by the Food Network’s Aaron Sanchez. It opened in 2011 and closed in 2014.

Later that year, Mitch Kerns and a chef/partner took over the 5,190-square-foot restaurant, with a rooftop event space, for a mid-2015 opening. The partner left a couple of years ago.

“You know how hard this business is. You beat your head against the wall and it’s a lot of hard work not to be compensated,” Kerns said. “It’s a little frustrating because we got great reviews and I’m really proud of the concept we created there — the food, the service and the atmosphere. But a lot of out-of-town corporate restaurants have come in and the population isn’t growing.”

The Grille at Park Place offers such items as oysters on the half-shell, seared ahi tuna, Tataki salad, fish tacos, shrimp scampi, barbecue Iowa Duroc pork baby back ribs, seasonal vegetable platters and prime rib. It received Diners’ Choice Awards from OpenTable in 2015 and 2018.

Park Place declined to comment on the closing. It did say an office tenant will take the former space of 801 Fish restaurant, which closed in early 2017.

The former Parisi cafe and Carma spaces also are still empty in Park Place.

“I want to ask people to support locally owned and operated restaurants,” Kerns said.

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