Blue Moose officially opens

Blue Moose crossing
Expect more Moose crossings at the Red Bridge Shopping Center when it officially opens March 26. Photo by Bill Rankin.

The Blue Moose Finally Arrives

The much anticipated restaurant officially opens March 26.

By John Sharp

Blue Moose Bar & Grill, a locally-owned upscale casual restaurant, will officially open its new 7,000-square-foot location at 11134 Holmes Rd. on the east side of the rejuvenated Red Bridge Shopping Center at 11 a.m. Monday, March 26.

Judging from the crowd that attended a pre-opening St. Patrick’s Day preview party with an Irish-themed menu March 17, it seems likely to be a very popular place.

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Tim Griffin (left), general manager at Blue Moose in Red Bridge, and Chris Sutton, CEO of KC Hopps which operates the franchise, were pleasantly surprised with the St. Patrick’s Day turnout. Photo by Bill Rankin. 

“I was surprised by the crowd.  We expected to do some business, but we didn’t expect a crowd so large we’d have a 40-minute wait shortly after opening,” said Tim Griffin, restaurant manager.

The crowd included KCMO City Councilmen Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus and neighborhood leaders Chris Korth and Larry Marsh who all have been strong supporters of renovating the shopping center; Owen Buckley, president of Lane4 Property Group which owns the center; and Zach Moores, owner of Crows Coffee which is opening its new nearby location in the northeast portion of the center with a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting on Friday, March 23.

“We’re so happy to be here, and the people seem just as happy that we’re here,” said Chris Sutton, CEO of KC Hopps, the Overland Park based restaurant group that now operates six Blue Moose locations since launching the brand in 2002.

Sutton said the Red Bridge location will be open from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, from 11 to 12:30 a.m. Thursday-Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, although he said the venue will stay open later if there is a customer demand for such late night service.  The restaurant does have a city liquor license that allows it to sell alcoholic beverages by the drink until 1:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday and until midnight Sunday.

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Chef Ryan Sneed showcases his Smoked Andouille and Chicken Pasta dish at the Blue Moose. Photo by Kathy Feist

Its fresh ingredient based menu includes a variety of small plates, salads, gourmet pizzas and sandwiches, chops, steaks and seafood.  Distinct and “lighter side” menu items include beef empanadas, “build-your-own Mac N Cheese”, shrimp and chicken curry, pork belly Cuban sandwiches, chipotle braised short ribs, carne asada and grilled mahi-mahi tacos, lemon chicken piccata, and kale salad.

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Its Sunday hot buffet open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. includes made-to-order options such as Eggs Benedict and an omelet bar with 40 add-on ingredients.

Blue Moose also offers nightly drink specials and a wide selection of wine and beer, including micro, macro and seasonal beers from the metropolitan area and throughout the U.S.  On Tuesday it offers ten selections of wine for $10 a bottle, and on Thursday it offers $2 micro beers and $2.50 macro beers.

Sutton said the restaurant has “something for everyone” and tends to appeal to different types of crowds during different times of the day, attracting people for business and social lunches, employees after work for happy hour, families for early dinners and couples for late dinner dates.

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A private dining area that holds a dozen guests is perfect for business or social luncheons.

He said the Red Bridge venue can accommodate 150-200 patrons.  He noted it has a wraparound patio for outdoor dining, accordion-style doors and tilting windows that can be opened during pleasant weather and three private dining areas for small groups.

 

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