Cityscape

Comings and goings at Crown Center: Italian restaurant closing, BBQ & coffee moving in

Restaurant, grocery and brewery updates for July: Three that opened, three that closed

Dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and event spaces are opening across the Kansas City region and in Lawrence, Kansas, in the next few months. Here is the list for June 2019 openings and closings.
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Dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and event spaces are opening across the Kansas City region and in Lawrence, Kansas, in the next few months. Here is the list for June 2019 openings and closings.

A longtime Crown Center restaurant will soon be closing its doors to make room for a barbecue-coffee combo.

Burnt End BBQ, which is owned by the Overland Park-based PB&J Restaurants Inc., is taking a first level spot in the Crown Center Shops that is currently occupied by Milano Italian Dining. Milano will close at the end of the month.

Burnt End will take most of the space, with its bar under the glass atrium along Grand Boulevard. PB&J also will open a full-service Starbucks there. A December opening is scheduled.

Patrick Khoury, president of PB&J, said it was the perfect pairing of “two true Kansas City traditions — barbecue and Crown Center.”

“And you don’t see anyone there carrying coffee so I thought it would be a great location and partnership with the Starbucks,” he said.

PB&J’s other concepts are YaYa’s Euro Bistro with locations in Overland Park, Denver, St. Louis, Little Rock and soon Salina, as well as Newport Grill in Wichita. It also owns 10 Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, and six Twin Peaks restaurants.

The group opened Burnt End BBQ in 2011 in Overland Park and later moved to its current location at 11831 Metcalf Ave. It added a Denver location in 2015.

Executive chef and pitmaster Stephen “Smokey” Schwartz has won many competitions across the country and has been featured on Food Network’s “The Grill Dads” and “Burgers, Brews & ’Que.”

His menu items include jumbo smoked wings, burnt end bowls, barbecue sandwiches and platters, and sides such as tomato cucumber salad, white cheddar grits, sweet spicy coleslaw and baked potato salad. Burnt End BBQ also has daily specials.

“We have been looking for a good option to fill Milano for some time,” said Anne Deuschle, spokeswoman for Crown Center. “This is local barbecue, local ownership, that will appeal to our hotel guests, families who come to shop and even our office tenants who come over to eat lunch.”

The Crystal Pavilion operated in the Crown Center space from 1982 to 1989 before being replaced by Milano.

Crown Center also has another barbecue, Three Little Pigs BBQ, on the first floor of the shops.

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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.
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