Rebecca Huntsman grew up in a family that was extra passionate about the first two meals of the day.
Her father opened breakfast/lunch operations three decades ago, where she started squeezing oranges for juice as a second-grader. Her brother, Dave Hendrix, and his wife, Kelly, now own breakfast and lunch operations, Kate’s Kitchen in the Northland and Ronnie’s Restaurant in Lenexa — named after their children.
Huntsman also took many road trips with her son, Caleb, now 13. And while those trips were typically for a tourist destination or family event, often the trips were more about checking out a specific restaurant or diner.
“Caleb has been a big Food Network junkie and made note of restaurants he wanted to visit,” Huntsman said.
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They would scour the menus, make note of the “silly” decors and talk to employees and owners.
“We would find out how they started and why they chose a small town in rural Mississippi to open a restaurant,” Huntsman said.
Now she is the next in the family to open a restaurant of her own.
Caleb’s Breakfast & Lunch, named after her son, is at 515 E. Red Bridge Road in south Kansas City’s Red Bridge Shopping Center.
Huntsman has been working on the space for about a year, giving it a cozy touch with a former church pew and mismatched chairs in the waiting area, and signs with such silly sayings as “Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice.”
Breakfast items, which are served till closing time at 2 p.m., include biscuits and gravy (already a top order), chicken fried chicken and eggs, Caramel Nut French Toast, The King waffle (with warm peanut butter, banana, powdered sugar and butter), Benedicts, quesadillas with gravy or salsa, fruit bowls and a variety of omelets.
Lunch includes nearly a dozen different sandwiches, hand-breaded chicken fingers, wraps and salads.
Caleb’s also has a private meeting room that can seat up to 40 people.
Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re just excited to join the Red Bridge community,” Huntsman said. “They have been waiting for us for a long time.”
Brookside Barrio plans to open a location there in the spring.
Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City also plans to start construction on its new location in Red Bridge in the first quarter of 2019 and hopes to open by the end of the year.