Harry’s Has a Chef!
By Kathy Feist
Tongues are wagging. Lukas Liquor Stuperstore at 13657 Washington St. has hired a chef. Gone are the reheated bar food items served at its sports bar named Harry’s Tavern. And in are fresh, made-from-scratch unique dishes created by Executive Chef Fernando Ferreira.
Queso Crunch Burger. Shrimp Louie Wedge Salad. Mama’s Bacon Cornbread. Buffalo Mac & Cheese. Caramel Limoncello. Overall 40 new items on the tavern’s menu.
Ferreira says he was approached by Lukas Liquors a few months ago about opening a new concept at Harry’s Tavern. Harry’s Tavern had previously been built as a wine-tasting space adjacent to the liquor store. Exactly a year ago, the space was transformed into a sports bar boasting 65 craft beers and a five local wines on tap. Its transformation continues.
Ferreira most recently served as chef at the Kansas Speedway as well as various restaurants in the Kansas City Power and Light District. The Uruguay native has 35 years of experience cooking in Miami, New York, Memphis, Raleigh, and Maine. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. But it was his experience with a tavern in Raleigh, NC, that got him the job.
“We had a huge 500-person tavern in Raleigh that I helped build from scratch,” he says. “And now it is like doing big, big heavy-duty business. So I thought, let’s try the concept here.”
Tired of following recipes developed by restaurant corporations (“You are a chef, but not a chef,” he says.), Ferreira was ready for the freedom and challenge posed by a liquor store tavern.
In June, Ferreira and his sous chef Marta Fuguet, also his wife of 35 years, set to work in a newly renovated kitchen in the back of Harry’s Tavern.
“Everything here is fresh, quality ingredients,” he says. He emphasizes that most are made from scratch, down to the ice cream served over the warm Challah bread pudding.
Prevalent in Ferreira’s menu is the wide variety of ingredients in each dish. The KC Pulled Burger made of Angus beef, pulled pork, coleslaw, pickle chips, onion ring and BBQ sauce weighs in at over a pound. The New Yorker Burger comes with Angus beef, fried egg, mushrooms, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle chips and dijonnaise sauce. Even the Grilled Beer Bratwurst and Mash comes with a variety of colorful steamed vegetables to accompany the dish that has a tasty Guinness beer onion gravy.
In a nod to his departure from the corporate world, Ferreira is quick to note that you will not find his menu items anywhere in Kansas City. “Everything is created by me,” he says. “They are one of a kind!”
Word is quickly spreading via the internet and other sources regarding the food served at Harry’s Tavern. Ferreira says customers coming into the bar are often surprised by the quality food coming out of the kitchen. “They come back to give me tips,” he laughs. “But my tips are when people like the food.”
Ferreira says that if the space concept works here, Lukas Liquors will open one in every superstore.
Harry’s Tavern has seating in the bar area surrounded by numerous televisions. It also has partially closed off seating in the back of the restaurant where one can watch the chef at work. The area can also be rented for large groups. Ferreira says he also has a catering menu.
Harry’s Tavern is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Call (816) 942-8707 for more information.