Power & Light District restaurant gets updated: New look, more steaks, lobster pizza

Bristol’s new lobster pizza with lobster thermidor sauce, a cheese blend, basil oil-poached lobster sells for $16.
Bristol’s new lobster pizza with lobster thermidor sauce, a cheese blend, basil oil-poached lobster sells for $16.

After 11 years as an original tenant of the Power & Light District, Bristol Seafood Grill is getting an update.

The locally owned restaurant and bar at 51 E. 14th St. will now be known as Bristol Seafood + Steak + Social. It will still have some Bristol favorites, including Char Crust Bigeye Tuna, Seafood Mix Grill, and simply prepared fresh fish. But it also will have a new bar menu, more steaks, a three-course prix-fixe menu, new uniforms for employees, and a “lounge-like vibe” in the remodeled bar.

It shut down for lunch June 4 and will stay closed for lunch on June 5 as it makes the changes for the grand reopening at 11 a.m. June 6. It remains open for dinner.

Lou Ambrose, vice president of operations/specialty concepts for Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. in Leawood, parent company of Bristol, said the downtown market has evolved since the restaurant’s 2008 opening.

“It’s getting younger, more people are moving in and the Baby Boomers are starting to move out of their big old homes to come down. More business travelers, young professionals,” Ambrose said. “We’re broadening our appeal by adding a more robust selection of prime steaks, more approachable menu items to the bar menu and some seasonal handcrafted cocktails.”

Travis Napier, executive chef for the downtown Bristol, and Michael Slavin, corporate executive chef for Houlihan’s, developed the new menu.

The bar menu includes a lobster pizza for $16, and That’s My Fig Jam Burger with peppered pancetta, red wine fig jam, smoked Gouda and caramelized onions on a brioche bun for $16, as well as new local craft beers and whiskeys.

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Bristol’s new name signals its “broader appeal.” Joyce Smith

New steak selections include the 8-ounce Bavette (described as the flank’s lesser known sibling) served over caramelized onions with chimichurri, crispy artichoke hearts and Brussels sprouts, and topped with a Parmesan garlic sauce, as well as a 14-ounce prime Kansas City strip and a 32-ounce prime bone-in Tomahawk chop.

Customers also can get their steaks “sauced” with a blue cheese butter, truffle butter or foyot sauce.

The three-course prix fixe addition will be $45 or $55, depending on the entree selection.

It also has “The Hook Up,” with a choice of fish (halibut, grouper, scallops or sea bass), and a choice of how it is prepared (Hong Kong-style steamed with wok fried brown rice, Shakshuka iron skillet roasted, or lemongrass brown butter.)

Brian Barnes is managing partner for the Power & Light location.

The famed Gilbert/Robinson launched the first Bristol in early 1980 on the Country Club Plaza, in what is currently the Capital Grille space at 4740 Jefferson St.

Current owner Houlihan’s also has a location in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza and two Bristol restaurants in St. Louis. Those locations will still operate under the Bristol Seafood Grill name and concept.

Joe’s KC partners in new ice house concept at Power & Light District. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que plans to open County Line Ice House in the Spring of 2018 in the space formerly occupied by Gordon Biersch Brewery, 100 E. 14th Street.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.