816 Business

Antioch Crossing gains Wal-Mart grocery store

It’s official.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will take a 41,180-square-foot freestanding building in the Northland’s new Antioch Crossing for a fall opening.

Although much smaller than the supercenters, the neighborhood markets offer a variety of the company’s most popular staples, including fresh produce, meats and dairy items, frozen foods, dry goods, a pharmacy, deli foods, bakery items, canned and packaged goods, condiments and spices, pet supplies and household supplies — at Wal-Mart’s discounted prices.

Wal-Mart designed the neighborhood stores for “convenient and efficient shopping trips.” Customers also can order Wal-Mart items like wide screen TVs online and have them shipped to the neighborhood stores. The Antioch Crossing store will have about 95 employees.

Antioch Crossing will be a 512,000-square-foot center on 41-acres at the crossroads of Antioch Road, Vivion Road and Chouteau Trafficway.

Antioch Center Mall formerly operated on the site. It was Kansas City’s first shopping center north of the Missouri River when it opened in 1956.

The re-developer, Antioch Redevelopment Partners LLC, purchased the mall in 2010 and started tearing it down in early 2012. However, longtime tenants Sears, Burlington Coat Factory, Goodyear Tire, and Bank of America have continued to operate there and will remain tenants of the new Antioch Crossing.

An existing building, between Burlington Coat Factory and Sears, is being renovated for smaller tenants from 5,000-to-10,000 square feet each. Vintage Stock, a Joplin, Mo.-based entertainment superstore chain selling new and used video games, movies, books, music, toys, comic books and sports cards, plans a late fall opening in one of the spaces.

The redevelopers also will break ground on two new multi-tenant buildings in late summer. Tenants will include Firehouse Subs, GNC, Modern Nails & Spa, and an optical shop.

The $67 million Antioch Crossing also will have freestanding restaurants, office tenants, 96-units of market-rate senior housing, and walking and bike trails. More than 100,000 people with an average household income of $55,000 live within a 5-mile radius of the center.

New owners for Charlie Hooper’s in Brookside

When Chris Lewellen purchased his first home back in 1993, he had a top request — it had to be within walking distance of Brookside mainstay Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille.

Now Lewellen and his brother Andy are purchasing Charlie Hooper’s, at 12 W. 63rd St., in a deal that is expected to close in August. The brothers don’t plan to make many changes, except to make the outdoor patio more open and inviting, and tweak something here or there.

“Andy and I love the Waldo-Brookside neighborhood and we love Charlie Hooper’s. We think there is a lot of potential here,” said Chris Lewellen. “It has great employees, a great customer base. It doesn’t need a lot, just freshen it up a bit.”

Charlie Hooper’s features more than 30 draft beers and more than 150 bottled beers. Its menu includes housemade chicken pot pies, hand-breaded chicken fried steaks, soups, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, tacos, and entree salads, as well as daily specials. The Lewellens may add more items after getting feedback from the employees and customers.

The brothers opened Lew’s Grill & Bar a decade ago and then The Well Bar Grill & Rooftop five years ago as part of a “slow, conservative” growth strategy. They have a loyalty card for customers of the two Waldo operations that will be extended to Charlie Hooper’s customers.

Bob Regan founded Charlie Hooper’s in 1980.

“We opened with a big rugby following back before they were called ‘sports bars,’ I think,” Regan said. “We never tried gimmicks. Families were always welcome and it was a popular late -night spot.”

Regan relocated to Vermont nine years ago. He makes several trips back a year and is in regular contact with general manager Kelly Buckert and his long-term employees. But Regan said it was time to sell to a local owner/operator.

“It’s a good place but I think it’s ready for the next step and I think the Lewellens will bring Waldo and Brookside a little closer,” Regan said.

After the sale is completed, Regan said he will still come back to visit family and friends, but no longer for business trips.

“It’s really sad. I had it for a long time,” he said. “But I told them I am looking forward to the day I can sit down at the bar and pay for my drink.”

To reach Joyce Smith, call 816-234-4692 or send email to jsmith@kcstar.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at JoyceKC