Northeast Joco

Street tacos get the chef touch at Taco Republic

A gas station location worked out very, very well for Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que.

Now Taco Republic has taken Oklahoma Joe’s lead and opened in a former gas station just across Mission Road at 500 County Line Road in Kansas City, Kan.

Taco Republic specializes in “street tacos,” freshly made with a choice of soft tortillas, either white corn or flour. More than a dozen flavors are on the menu, including marinated tenderloin, Yucatan-style roasted and marinated pork, grilled chicken, blackened tilapia and vegetarian.

The restaurant says slow-cooked, shredded meats are the “heart and soul” of street tacos and they’ve added a chef-driven touch.

Other menu items include tortas, salsa and chips, taquitos, fried pork rinds, Frito pie and desserts. Drinks include a variety of margaritas, cocktails, tequila, wine and beer.

Taco Republic also will be offering half or whole wood-fired chicken with sides of charro beans, rice and soft tortillas at its to-go window. A neon sign by the walk-up window on the east side of the restaurant will flash either “Pollo” or “No Pollo” to indicate whether the chicken is available or not.

The to-go counter also will open at 7 a.m. on weekdays for breakfast tacos. Breakfast tacos also will be served starting at 8 a.m. on weekends at the to-go counter or full-service in the dining room.

Taco Republic offers several seating options — dining room, chef’s table in the open kitchen, bar area and outdoor picnic tables and benches to watch games on its bocce court. Garage doors will open up the restaurant in nice weather, and it will partially enclose the patio and add heaters in colder weather.

Bread Butter Concepts also owns BRGR Kitchen + Bar and Urban Table in Prairie Village; Gram Dun on the Country Club Plaza; and a new BRGR in the Power Light District. It also has a new Taco Republic food truck.

The company will take the rest of the year off from opening new restaurants. But in 2014 it plans one or two more, probably on the Kansas side of the state line.

Oak Park Mall updates

Oak Park Mall, at 95th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park, is adding several new tenants, and another store is remodeling.

•  Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to open in the food court in November.

•  Torrid, a chain store selling plus size women’s clothing and accessories, plans to open in November.

•  Forever Flawless, diamond infused skin care products, plans to open this winter.

•  Build-A-Bear Workshop is closed for a remodeling and is scheduled to reopen in November with a new design.

Quick bites

•  Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will have a ribbon cutting at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at 18555 W. 151st St., Olathe. At about one-quarter the size of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, the full-service grocery stores with pharmacies are quicker and more convenient to shop. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

•  Dick’s Sporting Goods has finished remodeling its Town Center Plaza store at 11801 Nall Ave., in Leawood, and will have a celebration starting at 10 a.m. Oct. 6 with free gift cards and T-shirts to the first 100 adults in line that day

•  Corbin Park is listing a fall 2014 opening for Dress Barn. However, the chain said they are still in negotiations to open in the center at 135th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.