816 Business

Spin Neapolitan Pizza opens in Crown Center

Spin! Neapolitan Pizza opened a Crown Center location in the former Kabuki space. There was a good lunch crowd on opening day last Thursday.
Spin! Neapolitan Pizza opened a Crown Center location in the former Kabuki space. There was a good lunch crowd on opening day last Thursday. The Kansas City Star

Spin Neapolitan Pizza has opened its seventh area location.

The Kansas City-based company took a 3,800-square-foot space on the first floor of the Crown Center shops at 2450 Grand Blvd. Kabuki Japanese Restaurant occupied the spot for 28 years before closing in January 2014.

The new Spin features open air windows facing the food court and an outdoor patio facing Crown Center Square’s fountains.

“We wanted to be near the Crossroads/Crown Center area and felt that Crown Center provided us with the best opportunity for strong lunch traffic,” said Gail Lozoff, co-founder of Spin. “Plus we loved the location off the atrium for its visibility and patio opportunity. It puts us in the middle of all the activity at Crown Center.”

Spin, which was founded in 2005, also has area locations in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park and Prairie Village. It also plans to open a corporate-owned location with a patio in Overland Park’s Corbin Park in late April and another is under construction on the University of Central Missouri campus in Warrensburg and scheduled to open in August. Four corporate locations also are under construction in the Dallas area.

Franchisee groups also are expanding the concept in Lawrence, as well as in California, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Spin is known for its artisan menu with recipes developed in collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith. Made-from-scratch menu items include stone-fired pizzas, fresh soups and salads, panini and Italian deli sandwiches, appetizers, small plates and gelato ice creams.

Crowley Furniture back in Liberty

The Crowley family takes pride in calling Crowley Furniture “your hometown” furniture store.

Charles and Marilyn Crowley opened their first location in Excelsior Springs in 1954. Their son, Greg Crowley, took ownership in 1985. He wife, Beth, joined the business in 2000 and then their daughter, Laura Crowley, in 2003.

The 34,000-square-foot Liberty store, at Missouri 291 and Missouri 152, opened in 1998 but an electrical fire in May 2014 caused extensive smoke damage, forcing the family-owned business to close the location. In the last 10 months, the Crowleys have gutted the space and renovated it for Tuesday’s opening.

The company’s annual revenue was $14 million in 2013, more than double from its $6 million in 2003. The Liberty store accounted for 38 percent of 2013 revenue. Sales in 2014 were down about 8 percent from 2013, since only the firm’s two other stores operated for the entire year in 2014. Still, the decline was tapered because Northland customers supported the Lee’s Summit store and the newly relocated Overland Park store in Corbin Park and the economy improved.

“I have a lot of second- and third-generation customers, especially in the Liberty and Northland area where our roots began,” said Greg Crowley. “We appreciate all our loyal customers over the years and they continue to be loyal. That’s the key, along with offering good quality furniture at great prices.”

Restaurants recognizedfor food safety

The Kansas City Health Department has recognized 185 area food establishments with top grades for inspections in 2014.

Grade A Food Excellence Awards were given to full-service restaurants, fast-food operations, school cafeterias, bakeries, convenience stores, grocery stores and other food establishments.

The award winners include Bloom Baking Co. in the City Market, Crayola Cafe and Chips Chocolate Factory in Crown Center, Garza’s Goodies Chocolates & Confections and Max’s Burgers & Gyros in Waldo, Francesca’s at the Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza Kansas City, Jovito’s Italian Cafe and in south Kansas City, Reading Reptile in Brookside, Sasha’s Baking Co. downtown, and Suzy’s Deli and both Town-Topic Hamburgers in the Crossroads Arts District.

The award recognizes establishments that have demonstrated excellence in compliance with the city’s food code and other public health standards. While all food establishments in Kansas City are inspected regularly, the award winners substantially exceeded standards, the department said.