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Grand Street Celebrates 25 Years

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Ahhh…February. The season of love. It’s a good thing our hearts are warm, because winter in Kansas City can be a brutal thing. And wind chills of below zero in January were enough to make this girl hibernate for a while. But with the promise of spring on the horizon, I have an extra bounce in my step and an urge to explore beyond the bubble of my own little suburban nest.

One of my favorite Plaza restaurants has always been Grand Street Café. Reliable food and service, accessible parking and a great ambiance make this an old standby, kind of like curling up with your favorite blanket on a chilly day. My husband and I have celebrated more than one anniversary here, and it’s a frequent destination for couples for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and bridal luncheons.

Grand Street Café stands out as an independently owned and quality choice for business or personal dining. Whether it’s having lunch with coworkers or something more special with loved ones, they excel at having a menu to please everyone and service that is above par.

There is a sea of options when choosing special event space in a city as large as Kansas City. But when you start breaking it down, the number of restaurants that can comfortably accommodate a large crowd is really quite small. Grand Street Café has two locations now, one in Kansas City on the Plaza and their two-year-old location in Lenexa.

Located off Renner Road, the newest Grand Street Café has an enviable location. As you enter the parking lot, you can’t miss their rounded façade. And the nearby covered parking garage is a nice treat, especially on rainy days.

You’ll be surprised when you enter. This isn’t your average place. You might find yourself second guessing if you’re still in Lenexa, or if you’ve suddenly clicked your heels like Dorothy and somehow landed somewhere a bit more trendy than Kansas. Impressive mirrors, blue and silver tones and a sunken bar area give this place the allure of a four-star restaurant in a much larger city.

Owners Kristi and Rick Ghilardi have a put a lot into this concept. Not only is the restaurant a great place for regular dining, but the Lenexa location has three private rooms that each seat 14, 22 or 100 persons. So whether you are hosting a small wedding or a large business meeting, this restaurant has the banquet space to elegantly impress your guests. The space is very reasonably priced and is a great option for brides on a budget. For hosts needing more space, the Plaza location’s Grand Room can occupy up to 300 persons, with two full bars and a spacious dance floor. The Plaza location celebrates its silver anniversary in business this year, and it also boasts a three-level parking garage underneath the building, so parking is never an issue.

Grand Street Café introduces guests to something a bit more classy, but not in a pretentious or stuffy way. The open feel of the formal banquet spaces is very refreshing. With round, white-linen-draped tables, your guests will be able to comfortably mingle as they dine on an assortment of dishes customized by you. Choices include plated and buffet options, for breakfasts, brunch, lunch or dinner. Bar packages are also available, so that you can limit alcohol consumption of guests, if desired, and remain within your budget.

Grand Street Café also rocks a Sunday brunch. Guests get to choose one main entrée plus make a run through a buffet line of salads, sautéed vegetables, shrimp and assorted pastries. Kids can do the same for a smaller price. Don’t just settle for black coffee. They have an impressive selection of fresh-squeezed juices, specialty coffee drinks, mimosas and other drink items to complement the food.

For 25 years, locally owned Grand Street Café has been a Kansas City favorite for its modern American cuisine. The food is simple and elegant. Paired with the upscale décor of the newly opened Lenexa location or the classic tones of the Plaza original, an experience at Grand Street Café is a dining experience you will remember. HLM


Grand Street Café of Lenexa is located at 8815 Renner Road, 913-601-3500, and in Kansas City at 4740 Grand Avenue, 816-561-8000;