Kansas City’s d’Bronx Authentic Deli and Pizzeria has operated in the Crown Center Shops nearly 16 years.
Now another noted Kansas City pizza operation, Spin Neapolitan Pizza, will soon join it.
Spin plans an early fall opening in a 3,800-square-foot space on the first floor of the shops at 2450 Grand Blvd.
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant occupied the spot for 28 years before closing in January. Spin plans a major remodeling that will include a patio facing Crown Center Square and open-air windows facing the food court.
“The Crown Center area is on the upswing,” said Gail Lozoff, a partner in Spin. “It is expanding its reach beyond the Crown Center development into the Crossroads and surrounding neighborhoods. There’s an energy there, and we want to be a part of it.”
That includes such attractions as Sea Life Aquarium Kansas City and Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City, as well as a new Halls store. Halls closed its Crown Center store earlier this year. It plans to consolidate its Country Club Plaza store with a relocated and expanded Crown Center store that is scheduled to open in September on the third floor of the Crown Center Shops.
Lozoff has longtime ties to Crown Center. Her first date with her future husband, Richard Lozoff, was at Kabuki in 1985. In mid-1997, the couple opened one of their Bagel & Bagel shops on the first level of the shops. Bagel & Bagel later joined with two other regional bagel companies to form Einstein Bros Bagels.
A similar fast-casual chain, Panera Bread, came to Crown Center in early 2006, but both Einstein and Panera are still on Crown Center’s roster eight years later. Now Spin and d’Bronx will give Crown Center a pair of pizzerias.
“I was a little taken aback initially, but I think there is room for everybody,” said Don Foringer, owner of d’Bronx.
The Crown Center d’Bronx offers such items as New York-style pizza by the slice, deli sandwiches, and desserts such as carrot cake and cheesecake, for carry-out or to eat in the food court. The restaurant opened in Crown Center in 1998 and plans to remodel by early 2015.
Spin offers Neapolitan-style pizzas, along with salads, soups, sandwiches and gelato, for dine-in or carry-out. James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith collaborated on the Spin menu, and it also serves wine and beer. Customers order at the counter when they come in but have table service after that.
Spin also has locations in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park and Prairie Village. It plans to open a location in Overland Park’s Corbin Park in spring 2015 and another in Warrensburg, Mo., in summer 2015. Franchisees also own and operate a couple of California locations, and a third is scheduled to open Monday with more to follow. Another franchisee plans to open a Spin in Omaha, Neb., in September.