Overland Park & Leawood

Jocoscape — Firebirds brings a Rocky Mountain feel to Overland Park

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has a Colorado lodge feel with its stacked stone columns and stone fireplace.

But founder Dennis Thompson is from Wichita so Kansas has always been on his radar for expansion.

He opened one in his hometown and now has added another Kansas restaurant, this one in Overland Park’s Corbin Park.

A wall of backlit bottles brightens up the bar area in front, which also includes an indoor stone fireplace.

In back is an open kitchen showcasing the flames of its grill.

In between is the dining area, with a wine wall featuring 252 bottles.

But Firebirds’ focus is still on its aged steaks, fresh seafood, chicken and ribs seared over the grill. It uses different woods depending on the area. For Kansas that’s pecan and oak. Steaks are hand-cut on-site.

Menu items include chicken tortilla soup, fried chicken salad, crab cake salad, specialty burgers, pecan-crusted trout, American Kobe meatloaf, aged ribeye, vegetable kabob, chicken pasta and slow-roasted prime rib. It also offers several sides including port mushrooms, southwest au gratin potatoes, and green chile mac-n-cheese.

Desserts include creme brulee cheesecake and warm chocolate brownie.

Firebirds also offers its own private label wines and for every order of fresh squeezed lemonade it donates a dollar to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer.

Firebirds, at 6601 W. 135th St., is open for lunch and dinner daily.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company currently has nearly 30 restaurants in a dozen states.

MeMa’s bakery relocates in KCK

MeMa’s Old-Fashioned Bakery is closing in the Legends Outlets Kansas City after more than seven years.

MeMa’s, at 1829 Village West Parkway, Suite 131, Kansas City, Kan., will close on Dec. 31.

But the shop plans to reopen in Wyandotte Plaza Shopping Center, 7720 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan., by the middle of next month .

Loraine Waldeck, owner and founder of MeMa’s, wants to expand the kitchen to increase her wholesale business. Wholesale clients include hotels, event facilities and specialty grocers.

The new location, now under construction, will be 2,000 square feet, compared to the current space of nearly 1,700 square feet.

“The Legends has taken a ‘national brand outlet’ approach and Wyandotte Plaza is more of a neighborhood center. So we feel like it is a better fit,” she said.

MeMa’s locations in the Legends and the Power Light District offer breakfast and lunch including croissant sandwiches, soups, and grilled panini, along with fresh baked items like apple strudel, povitica and giant cinnamon rolls.

Waldeck first started a home-based bakery in Kansas City, Kan., in 1986. She then moved to a commercial bakery and retail space in mid-1995, calling it MeMa’s Old-Fashioned Bakery. MeMa’s relocated to the Legends in spring 2006.

She named the business after her mother, Marion Hoffman, who is called Mema by her grandchildren and often helps out in the kitchen.

Loraine’s daughter, Cassidy Waldeck, operates the MeMa’s in the Power Light District.

New Thai restaurant for OP

Kevin Wong’s new Thai restaurant was set to open in early 2013.

But problems with the remodeling had him ripping it out and starting over, pushing the opening way back.

Lemongrass is now looking at a late January 2014 opening at 7316 W. 80th St., in downtown Overland Park. It will offer made-from-scratch Thai cuisine using fresh ingredients, many from the nearby Farmers’ Market.

A small bar will be in front. The dining area will be in back, down a wide hallway with doors looking into an open kitchen. The dining area also will have large windows looking out onto the Farmers’ Market.

The space formerly housed Intentions, a sushi restaurant and live music venue.