KC’s the Roasterie percolates with expansion plans

A drive-through container store was on display last year at the Roasterie headquarters.
A drive-through container store was on display last year at the Roasterie headquarters.

A plan to repurpose a shipping container as a prototype drive-through “coffee kiosk” by the Roasterie earned approval Tuesday from the Kansas City Plan Commission.

The new coffee kiosk proposal calls for improving a shipping container and outfitting it with rooftop solar panels in a surface parking lot at 4627 Madison Ave.

Roasterie founder Danny O’Neill pitched the plan, which would include “a pocket park,” as a remedy for a “soul-less parking lot.”

Commissioners approved the concept despite detailed objections from Fred Logan, an attorney representing the Plaza Corporate Center, the office building at the corner of Madison and 47th Street.

Logan asked the commission to either reject the plan or delay acting until a traffic study was undertaken.

Logan pointed to high traffic volume, especially during morning rush hours, and problems that might occur as cars enter and exit the Roasterie site from the right-hand traffic lane on Madison. The site doesn’t allow for a deceleration, or turn, lane to the parking lot.

O’Neill said the site plan allows for cars waiting in line to queue in the parking lot so that traffic won’t back up on Madison.

The proposal will retain existing traffic islands in the parking lot and add more vegetation, including an outdoor area for tables and chairs.

With some objections, city planning staff recommended the project, saying the coffee shop basically complied with the Midtown Plaza Area Plan. Staff also noted that the shipping container concept was likely to be a short-term use for the site, until a more substantial development project comes along.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford