Parlor, Kansas City’s newest food hall set to open this fall in the Crossroads Arts District, is currently looking for a few good chefs.
The collaborative new dining hall is under construction and plans to serve as a launch pad for seven brand-new restaurant concepts, in addition to offering two bars, stylish lounge areas and a second-floor open-air deck.
The two-story, 18,000-square foot red brick building is located at 1707 Locust and was purchased last year by RedWether Collaborative. The name turned out to represent a larger partnership between Atlanta-based chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie’s Red Beard Restaurants and Meriwether Companies, a hospitality and resort development company out of Boulder, Colorado.
“At Parlor, we plan to curate an environment that is artisanal and cohesive, while creating a comfortable place to relax and socialize while enjoying great food and drink,” says Davis Engle, vice president at Meriwether Companies. “We combine that with a collaborative business approach to encourage mutual success for every chef partner.”
He knows a critical part of Parlor's success will be in selecting the right chef partners. “The operation is really turn-key for the chef: we provide the POS, the commercial kitchen and all they need to do is establish their five to 10-item menu and start cooking,” he says.
Engle wants to make sure the mix of restaurants will showcase a diverse array of cuisines. “Bottomline, I am looking for talented new chefs, interesting food concepts, food trucks and side projects from existing Kansas City chefs and restaurateurs to become our first chef partners,” he says.
Parlor will manage all front-of-house and bar operations, allowing the chef partners to focus solely on their food, eliminating the burden of running an entire restaurant and reducing the cost of entry. The typical start-up investment required from each chef partner will be in the $10,000 to $15,000 range, as compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars required for a chef to open a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. For guests, Parlor will offer an ever-changing environment in which to eat, drink and socialize.
Engle says he is also searching for an overall general manager for Parlor, who will serve as the day-to-day person on the ground for the concept. Gillespie and his team at Red Beard Restaurants will have an active role in choosing the seven chef partners for Parlor. His team will then provide mentoring and help with everything from dialing in on the food to managing food costs to streamlining the overall operation of the kitchen.
For their part, Meriwether Companies will manage the construction of the building itself, and once open, will take care of everything from the operation of the bar to building maintenance, dialing in on the environment and handling all of the marketing and social media.
Kansas City-based Hufft Projects, is doing all of the design and construction work on the building. The renderings show a vision of a building with a clean, modern aesthetic while highlighting the amazing bones and handsome exposed red brick of the existing space.
A bar will be located on each floor, with three kitchens or restaurants on the first floor and four restaurants on the second floor. The basement will feature a private event space that will also be used to host pop-up dinners. Various types of seating will be available, including traditional tables and chairs and softer lounge seating with chairs and couches. Upon entering the space, guests will be greeted at a host stand, but the entire building is open seating. As at most food halls, diners will order and pay for their food at each individual restaurant counter. “Our aim is to curate a diverse group of culinary concepts and celebrate them under one roof,” says Engle.