Entertaining is not just something Darcus Gates does. She says it’s who she is.
After a 40-year career singing in such cities as Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Atlantic City, Gates is ready to have a permanent showcase in her hometown of Kansas City.
She is taking a space in the new Cleaver II Blvd Shoppes at 47th Street and Troost Avenue and hopes to open a new supper club there in May.
Dash, which will seat about 180 people, will feature local and national talent and different styles of music. It also may have a comedy night or mystery theater night. Gates plans to perform Tuesday through Thursday for 3- to 4-week stints.
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“I can sing what I want to, when I want to, for as long as I want to sing,” she said.
She decided to call the new dinner club Dash after a saying by her late longtime manager Butch Lewis. Lewis would tell her he was ‘working on my dash’ — symbolic of the dash on a tombstone between someone’s date of birth and the date they died.
“Your dash is all the things you have done here on earth and I’m working on mine,” Gates said.
Gates already owns and operates Darcus Nail Salon & Day Spa at 4721 Tracy in the first phase of the Cleaver shops.
She is married to George Gates of Gates Bar-B-Q (son of Ollie Gates). The couple grew up about a mile from each other in Kansas City but only got to know each other after moving to Las Vegas. George was attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Darcus was performing in the city. They now have three children and four grandchildren.
She said she has maintained her long career because she’s “easy on the eye, talented and could entertain.”
“I love what I am doing and people gravitate to who you are and what you are doing. They come out to feel good,” she said.
Gates may hold a contest to select Dash’s signature chef and menu. She plans a May 1 soft opening, then a “star-studded” grand opening around her late manager’s birthday of June 26.
Ollie Gates is the developer for the Cleaver Blvd Shoppes and RED Brokerage is the broker. Tenants also will include Liberty Bank & Trust and Subway. The owner of Magnolia’s Contemporary Southern Bistro & Catering said she also is in negotiations to open in the center.
According to RED, 244,233 people live within a 5-mile radius of the shop with an average household income of $53,818.
The Dining Experience Kauffman Center
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts now has a new lunch and dinner option.
Before performances, The Founders’ Lounge, near the box office, will transform into The Dining Experience where customers can order the $40 Marquee Box Menu.
The winter menu currently has four entrees: Indian chicken salad, beef trio (Angus beef, house-cured bresaola, and tartare lightly seared), deconstructed crab cake, and fingerling potato and grilled Portobello. It also has a new wine and classic cocktail menu.
In a statement, Paul J. Schofer, president and chief executive officer of the Kauffman Center, said the center, in partnership with Bonterra Catering & Events’ executive chef Philippe Lechevin, created the new menu as a response to patron requests for a “high quality, pre-show dining option conveniently located just steps away from their seats.”
Reservations can be made up to 48 hours before an event by calling 816-994-7222.
New soul food for downtown
Devan Taylor and his wife, Shawn, owners of the Blue Springs Sweet T’s Soul Food, have added a downtown location.
Sweet T’s opened Monday at 1124 Oak St., near from City Hall. The Taylors plan to focus on fast service — especially for the time-crunched lunch crowd.
The restaurant offers fish, chicken, brisket, and pork chops, along with sides like yams, smoked cabbage, collard greens, beans and rice, mac-and-cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, peach cobbler, cake and cinnamon rolls, and sweet tea.
It also will have an all-day-buffet Friday through Sunday.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC