The owners of Coal Vines on the Country Club Plaza shut it down seven months ago. Then a new ownership group gutted the space for a new concept they describe as “a classic American grill.”
Parkway: Social Kitchen is now open for dinner at 616 Ward Parkway with lunch service starting Thursday. A basement lounge featuring live music on some nights also is scheduled to open Thursday.
Zach Marten and Bret Springs opened Coals Vines in early 2011 as a licensed operation of the Dallas-based Coal Vines chain.
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But they wanted to do their own concepts and later opened Westport Ale House with Trident Restaurant Group. They also opened The Rockhill Grille in the Crossroads and RND Corner Grille in Lawrence under their Back Napkin Restaurant Group. They have since sold their interest in RND.
Marten and Springs collaborated with Trident Restaurant Group on the Parkway concept, including design, build-out and menu development, and will have a minority interest in Parkway. They brought in Sam Hefter, formerly of Houston’s on the Plaza, as executive chef. Trident will handle day-to-day operations at Parkway: Social Kitchen.
“Great food like Houston’s but more interactive, more social and trendier,” said Scott Mars, president of the Overland Park-based Trident.
Menu items include starters such as tater tots (pepper jack stuffed and served with honey mustard and ketchup), Brussels sprouts salad, turkey apple brie sandwiches, the Parkway cheeseburger on a house-made brioche bread. Entrees include gourmet mac-and-cheese, prime filet, Ahi tuna, Danish baby back ribs and roasted chicken.
“It’s not pretentious. We’re keeping things simple but trying to execute to the best that it can be,” Hefter said.
After earning an associate’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, he joined Hillstone Restaurant Group as culinary manager for its East Hampton Grill in East Hampton, N.Y., then had stints at its Houston’s restaurants in Houston, Texas; New Orleans and then Kansas City starting in April 2016.
When Houston’s abruptly closed in early 2017, he became executive chef of Rockhill Grille, the first place he could really craft his own menu, he said.
Marten and Springs also are teaming up with Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que to open County Line Ice House in the Power & Light District in spring 2018.