April 23, 2014
A little more than a year after a devastating explosion and fire destroyed JJ’s Restaurant, Operator Jimmy Frantze has announced plans to rebuild. Today, at a press conference with Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Frantze shared details about the new location inside Plaza Vista, a more than 250,000-square-foot building located at 900 West 48th Place, keeping its home on the west side of the historic Country Club Plaza.

The rebirth and new location will allow the restaurant to restore position in its familiar neighborhood of the West Plaza district and contribute to revitalizing the area, which was important to Frantze.

“This has been a long time coming,” Frantze said. “Plaza Vista was the perfect choice for us and allows our regulars to have a home again. I couldn’t be more excited to share this news and get started bringing JJ’s back to life again.”

With assistance from Kansas City’s VanTrust Real Estate, LLC, the Plaza Vista building developer, JJ’s plans to open the new space late summer of this year. VanTrust President David Harrison said he’s excited to welcome JJ’s into the Plaza Vista building.

“There’s a real synergy to the Plaza Vista property with a great mixture of dining, hospitality and premier office uses,” Harrison said. “On a personal note, after growing up with the Frantze’s, I am ecstatic that Jimmy and the team selected Plaza Vista as the new home of JJ’s Restaurant. As a patron, I am equally excited to be able to dine at JJ’s once again.”

Established in 1985, JJ’s plans to continue offering its specialty items such as prime cuts of beef, poultry, fresh seafood, and the ever-popular Paco Shrimp, as well as its award-winning wine list, as recognized by Wine Spectator as one of the best wine lists in the world. Frantze is still working through the design details of the new space—including the amount of square footage—but said the Plaza Vista spot will feature an outdoor patio, private dining and an open space layout. Additionally, Frantze anticipates many of his staff returning to work at the new location.

Plaza Vista recently opened in November 2013, coinciding with the opening of the neighboring building Hotel Sorella. It is anchored by national law firm Polsinelli, serving as the firm’s corporate headquarters for 250 attorneys and total of 450 employees who are located in Kansas City. Nationwide, there are more than 700 attorneys in 18 cities.

“When we committed to our new office at Plaza Vista, one of the attractions was to be close by JJ’s, a long time favorite of our firm and its clients. Sadly, the tragic fire in 2013 meant the end to the original restaurant, but we’re very pleased to learn that Jimmy is rebuilding not only close by, but actually in our building,” said Polsinelli Chairman Russ Welsh. “We look forward to the reopening and once again enjoying one of Kansas City’s finest and most iconic restaurants.”

While the next steps involve heavy design, construction and much planning, Frantze said he’s began early planning of festivities for a week-long of grand opening events involving the community, the West Plaza neighborhoods and businesses and charity partnerships.

“My goal is to bring the neighborhood together and thank Kansas City for all of its continued support of JJ’s and our staff,” Frantze said.

About JJ’s Restaurant

JJ’s will continue in its tradition of serving upscale, Italian and Napa-inspired contemporary cuisine with local influences and an award-winning wine list. Nestled in the West Plaza district of the Country Club Plaza, JJ’s will again offer casual elegance with old world European charm. An expansive patio will offer diners beautiful views of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. JJ’s has been operated by Jimmy Frantze for almost 30 years and is one of the few remaining independent restaurants in Kansas City with a national reputation. JJ’s continues to be committed to serving only the highest quality of food prepared with fresh, locally-grown ingredients. JJ’s is known for its steaks, fresh seafood and daily pasta specials as well as award-winning wine list which will again offer over 2,000 selections to choose from. The restaurant’s interior is also renown for its visually vibrant artwork from Kansas City artist Mike Savage, who himself has earned a national reputation.

About VanTrust Real Estate, LLC

VanTrust Real Estate, LLC (“VanTrust”) is a full-service real estate development company with a regional focus and national scope. VanTrust is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri with regional offices in Columbus, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix. The company creates real estate assets for both internal portfolio holdings as well as disposition opportunities. VanTrust offers its clients and capital partners a full spectrum of real estate services including acquisition, development, asset management, construction management and consulting. Product types include office, industrial, multifamily, retail, institutional, governmental, hospitality and recreational. VanTrust’s ownership and substantial capital base are associated with the Van Tuyl Group. Access for more information.