By John Sharp
A new sit-down restaurant coming to the Red Bridge Shopping Center, Caleb’s Breakfast and Lunch, was announced Saturday, October 14, by Owen Buckley, president of Lane4 Property Group that has renovated the center.
Speaking to the several hundred people that attended the first annual South KC Block Party at the center sponsored by the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, Buckley said the center will be 80 per cent occupied once Caleb’s and several other newly-signed tenants move in. He said that compares to only about 50 per cent occupancy when his company acquired the center prior to renovating it.
The announcement of the new restaurant noted it would offer classic breakfast and lunch fare such as pancakes, omelets, fresh baked biscuits, salads and sandwiches in a family-friendly environment. It plans to open in early 2018.
In the announcement, owner Rebecca Huntsman said serving great food is only part of her mission. “We want to know the people that walk in our door, know how many grandchildren they have and what’s going on in their lives. And while we are getting to know the community, we’ll serve great food,” said Huntsman.
Huntsman is the daughter of Ron Hendrix who spearheaded the expansion of First Watch restaurants into Kansas City and many other areas throughout the nation and who still owns two First Watch franchises.
Buckley said in the announcement that he helped Hendrix secure his original First Watch restaurant at 95th & Metcalf in Johnson County 30 years ago and that it has been fun to work with him and his daughter. He noted they have a strong and successful operating history and are exactly the kind of tenants his firm has been pursuing for the center.
In an interview following the announcement, Buckley told me Caleb’s plans to be open daily from about 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be moving into a 5,000 square-foot space on the north side of the center facing Red Bridge Rd. that was formerly occupied by Bruce Smith Drugs.
Other recently announced new tenants that are in the process of preparing to move in are:
* Silks & Pole Aerial Fitness (which will include a raw juice bar) that is expected to open later this month on the south side of the center that demonstrated its fitness training techniques at the block party
* Blue Moose Bar & Grill that is moving into the former Dos Hombres location on the east side of the center facing Holmes Rd. and hopes to open in December or January that provided a well-patronized food truck at the party
*Crows Coffee that is totally renovating a nearly 2,000 square-foot space in the northeast part of the center facing Red Bridge Rd. that formerly housed two other coffee shops that staffed a booth giving away hot and iced coffee to a constant stream of visitors at the party
Zach Moores, Crows owner, told me he hopes to have his coffee shop (his third in the city) open by January or February and that he plans its hours to be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
Crows will offer a full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks, teas, baked goods, pastries and other food items, and Moores said he plans to serve beer and wine and also provide live music on certain days.
(As a customer, I first urged Moores to consider opening another coffee shop at Red Bridge well over a year ago. I agree with the comments at the block party of Brandon Buckley, Lane4 vice president, who said that customer service is a key to the success of coffee shops, and noted Moores’ two other successful locations are always busy.)
Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, another planned new tenant of the center that is expected to break ground in early 2018 for its new facility there, conducted a music and movement class and an art class for children attending the party.