Joco 913

Indoor rock climbing gym set to open in Overland Park

Elsa Bleeker, who owns The Cave Bouldering Gym in Kansas City, plans a Johnson County facilty at 7200 W. 106th St.
Elsa Bleeker, who owns The Cave Bouldering Gym in Kansas City, plans a Johnson County facilty at 7200 W. 106th St. Special to The Star

Just a couple of years after opening at 3150 Mercier St. in the Dean’s Downtown Underground, The Cave Bouldering Gym has built up such a strong following that many customers make the trip from Johnson County.

Now owner Elsa Bleeker has taken on a partner, Phil Ratterman, to open an Overland Park indoor climbing gym.

The 10,000-square-foot Apex Climbing Gym, at 7200 W. 106th St., will have about 5,000-square-feet of indoor climbing surface with more than 200 boulder problems for beginners to seasoned climbers. Apex also will have an upscale yoga studio, an American Ninja Warrior circuit for workouts or to train for the television series, and a children’s climbing program.

“Rock climbing is an individual sport but very social,” Bleeker said. “You compete with yourself to get better, you don’t compete with other people. But you are around a lot of people who are there doing the workouts and we give each other support.”

Bleeker grew up in South Africa and moved to Michigan a decade ago before relocating to Kansas City in 2008. She designed wedding gowns professionally while taking up rock climbing as a hobby.

“I fell in love with it. Now I’m hoping to earn enough money to climb Mount Everest next year,” Bleeker said.

RC Jensen of Reece Commercial represented Apex and Elaine Sight of DDI Commercial Inc. represented the landlord in the lease negotiations.

Quick bites

▪ The Paradise Biryani Pointe, a franchise offering southern Indian cuisine, opened Monday at 7301 W. 91st St., Overland Park. The franchisee also owns the new Kulture Kurry, a Northern Indian restaurant in Overland Park.

▪ Joe West joined Leawood’s 801 Fish as executive chef in late December and is now introducing a new menu. It includes such items as whole roasted Mediterranean Branzino, Skuna Bay salmon, pan-seared foie gras, fresh Peekytoe crab salad, and New Bedford pan-seared day boat scallops.

West grew up in Prairie Village and had stints at Bluestem in Westport and at Wynn Resort Las Vegas. He most recently worked as executive chef at the Cincinnatian Hotel & Palace Restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

801 Fish opened in late 2013 at 11615 Rosewood St. in Park Place. The Leawood-based 801 Restaurant Group also is opening an 801 Fish in St. Louis this summer and another in Cherry Creek, Colo., a Denver suburb, in November.

▪ The Futbol Club Eatery & Tap, 12030 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park, is now serving fresh pizza by Pizza 51, along with its regular menu that offers such items as pot roast, fish and chips, specialty sandwiches and burgers.

South Johnson County customers had been asking Pizza 51 to have a presence in their area, especially for events, said Jason Pryor, founder of Pizza51, and Futbol has a private room seating up to 80 people.

“We converted the kitchen, bringing in the same type of ovens as the other Pizza 51s for consistency,” said Jason Pryor, founder and owner of Pizza 51. “

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