German-style pub plans November opening in Waldo

Steve Holle studied both business and German in college, and now those degrees are coming together in a new Waldo brewery.

Holle’s Kansas City Bier Co. is taking a 10,000-square-foot spot at 310 W. 79th St. A November opening is scheduled.

He grew up in south Kansas City but moved to Texas in 1992. He recently retired as regional director of the real estate investment office for Northwestern Mutual in Plano, Texas, before moving to his hometown to start the brewery.

“This is a very good beer town,” he said. “We will offer an authentic German beer drinking experience — out in the open, public gatherings with families, drink a couple of beers and go home.”

He became interested in German beers while studying German in the country during a semester of his junior year of college. He has been home-brewing for nearly three decades, has written two brewing books published by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, and has earned a diploma in brewing from the Institute of Brewing Distilling in London.

Holle is chief executive officer of Kansas City Bier Co. in charge of brewing operations and sales. His business partner, Juergen Hager, also is moving from Texas and will be in charge of the tasting room. They have about 25 other local investors for the brewery, which will cost about $1.7 million. Because so many breweries are opening across the country, Holle had to order equipment in January for delivery in mid-September.

Kansas City Bier Co. will use ingredients imported from Germany and sell its beers by the glass on-site, as well as on tap in area restaurants and bars. Once the brewery is more established, Holle plans to roll out bottled beers for retail sale.

A beer garden on the east side of the building — overlooking the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail — will serve authentic German pretzels, along with sausages and cheese plates. A children’s play area also is planned. There are 36 parking spaces on-site.

Holle plans to ride his bike to work on the trolley trail and hopes other travelers on the route will stop in for a refresher at the beer garden.

Famous Dave’s closes in Overland Park, sets Independence opening

Less than a year after opening, Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que has closed in Overland Park.

Area franchisee Dave Jones had been working on his new Independence restaurant when he got an offer for his Overland Park location at 11741 Metcalf Ave. He decided to cancel orders on new equipment and furnishing for the Independence restaurant, and use what he had at the “old” restaurant for the new operation.

Many of the Overland Park employees also plan to transfer to the new location.

“We had a good offer for the spot, so it was a smart business move,” Jones said.

A deal hasn’t been signed for the Metcalf location yet. Jones said he was still negotiating with the company that first approached him, as well as another potential restaurant tenant. Block Co. Inc. Realtors has the 9,192-square-foot property for sale or lease.

The Independence restaurant, at 17700 E. 39th St., is scheduled to open on July 29.

Planet Sub expands

Kansas City’s Planet Sub is continuing to expand.

A new franchisee has opened a location in Austin, Texas, and plans to open another in October. At least six more Austin locations are planned.

Planet Sub traces its roots to a Yello Sub shop that opened in Lawrence in 1979. The first shop under the Planet Sub logo opened in 1998 in south Overland Park. The company now has nearly 40 locations in seven states. A downtown Denver location is scheduled to open later this year, and that franchisee plans at least seven locations in the greater Denver area.

Planet Sub is known for hot sub sandwiches with bread that is made from scratch daily, including specialty sandwiches such as the mega roast beef, the Planet BBQ, and the Veggie Grinder. It also has soups and salads, and offers catering services.