Barley’s Brewhaus opens in Leawood; Italian Gardens To-Go opens in Overland Park

A sign on Nall Avenue points the way to 77 South. But that restaurant is no more.

KC Hopps Ltd. recently took over the restaurant space, turning it into one of its Barley’s Brewhaus Restaurant concepts.

The 7,000-square-foot space in Cornerstone of Leawood, 5041 W. 135th St., now features a rustic/industrial decor that includes reclaimed wood from an 80-year-old Emma, Mo., barn, along with hand-glazed dark green ceramic tile, stainless steel elements, whiskey barrels here and there, and Edison light fixtures. Images of breweries from across the country line the walls.

In back is a private dining room that can be shut off with a sliding door from an old school. A long table with restored sycamore planks is nearby for another large group.

But the main focus of the dining room is a horseshoe-shaped bar featuring custom-designed stainless steel beer towers. Barley’s has 66 beers on tap.

Three garage doors in front open up to a front patio area that is flanked by two TVs overhead. Another patio on the west side of the restaurant doesn’t offer service but just serves as a smoker’s lounge. Barley’s also has a separate counter at the entrance for carryout orders.

Barley’s Brewhaus is known for its large selection of beers and made-from-scratch menu items, including fish and chips, steaks, and pizza. It also has a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees such as filet mignon, locally crafted sausages and wood-grilled fresh trout.

But chef Vlad Vergara, who has worked for KC Hopps for six years, has created new micro plates made for sharing. They include house-made meatballs (pork and beef meatballs served over creamy polenta and topped with Parmesan fondue), house-made pickles, crispy pork belly, smoked trout and pears, and langostino and curried risotto croquettes served with sour apple slaw and lemon basil aioli. Customers can select three for $6.

Before 77 South opened in the space it also was home to Cheeseburger in Paradise and then Tannahs.

There also are Barley’s Brewhaus locations in Overland Park and Shawnee.

Italian food to-go

Italian Gardens To-Go is now open in Overland Park.

The drive-thru only operation at 7335 W. 119th St. had a steady stream of lunchtime traffic Friday. But owner John David DiCapo became the kitchen drill sergeant, keeping the line moving.

Italian Gardens To-Go offers items made with the same recipes used at the famed downtown Italian Gardens restaurant, which closed in late 2003 after nearly 80 years of operations. Among the selections: appetizers like toasted ravioli, salads, pizza by the slice, spaghetti and meatballs, baked lasagna, and Italian steak sandwiches, along with a children’s menu. Dessert include assorted Italian holiday/wedding cookies, chocolate-dipped cannoli, and spumoni. It also sells family-style meals for $24.99.

Italian Gardens ToGo is open daily. DiCapo hopes to expand with company-owned and franchise operations.

Quick bites

•  Freddy’s Frozen Custard Steakburgers plans three new area locations.

A restaurant at 10690 Roe Ave., Overland Park, is scheduled to open on Aug. 13, and a location at the southwest corner of College Boulevard and King is scheduled to open in early 2014. A Lee’s Summit restaurant is scheduled to open in October.

•  Panera Bread also plans to open a freestanding restaurant with a drive-thru by the Freddy’s at College and King in 2014. Freddy’s and Panera also are side-by-side in Sedalia and Wichita.

“They are a good complement to us and we are a good complement to them,” said Eric Cole, vice president of operations for Original Bread Inc., the area franchisee for Panera.

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC.