In 2004, chef Ted Habiger opened a “farm-to-table” operation on 39th Street’s restaurant row.
Room 39 garnered such a loyal following with its fresh, seasonal cuisine, he added a second location in Leawood less than three years later.
But now that restaurant, Room 39 at Mission Farms, at 10561 Mission Road in Leawood, will close on Feb. 10.
“I just want to refocus my life a little bit. My kids are getting older, 9 and 11, and I want to spend more time with them,” Habiger said. “It’s not so much a sad thing for me than a celebration of 11 years.”
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He credits the restaurant’s success to his loyal customers and staff. Some employees have been at the Leawood location for about a decade.
He said he is in discussions with another local restaurant group that wants to open in his Mission Farms space. His lease expired four years ago and he has since been on a month-to-month lease.
“I really had a great relationship with my landlords — Doug Weltner and Mark Sutherland — great people and great customers of mine,” Habiger said.
He plans to concentrate on the original Room 39 location at 1719 W. 39th St., as well as his brewery, restaurant and beer garden, Brewery Emperial, at 1829 Oak St. in the Crossroads.
Habiger has been a James Beard semifinalist three times and previously worked for the acclaimed Union Street Cafe in New York, as well as the former Cafe Allegro, which also operated on 39th Street.