Burnt End BBQ Coming to Crown Center, Milano Exiting After 30 Years

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Milano Italian Dining is leaving Crown Center after 30 years and will be replaced by Burnt End BBQ and Starbucks.

Burnt End BBQ and Starbucks are taking over the Milano Italian Dining space at Crown Center later this year, ending what had been a 30-year run by the restaurant which specialized in Northern Italian cuisine.

This will be the third Burnt End restaurant to be opened by Overland Park-based PB&J Restaurants, the others are its original location in Overland Park and another in Denver.

“PB&J Restaurants is thrilled to bring Burnt End BBQ to Crown Center,” Patrick Khoury, president of PB&J said in a statement. “Our venture into downtown is the perfect pairing of two true Kansas City traditions – barbecue and Crown Center.”

While there already is a smaller barbecue place at Crown Center, Three Little Pigs, Crown Center officials say the new Burnt End will have a higher profile for visitors and locals.

“It’s a great spot,” said Anne Deuschle, Crown Center integrated marketing manager. “Kansas Citians love their barbecue and so do visitors. Pairing them is a win for all of us.”

The plan calls for Burnt End to occupy 6,200 square feet of the 8,400 square-foot area now occupied by Milano. The Starbucks, which will be operated by PB&J, will take the remaining space, according to a press release.

Milano will close by the end of July. PB&J Restaurants and Crown Center are working with local architecture firm, BRR Architecture, to plan for a full renovation of the space.

The new tenants are expected to open in late December.

Burnt End BBQ is known for its passionate Pitmaster, Stephen “Smokey” Schwartz, known simply as “Smokey” to guests, according to a press release announcing the new venture.

Smokey’s culinary background includes training at Joe’s Restaurant & BBQ under the legendary Tom Gault, and executive chef or pit master positions at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue and The Golden Ox.

Over the course of his career, Smokey has won numerous awards, including first place at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue for his Sweet Chipotle Glaze in 2012 and his Sweet Honey Glaze in 2015, according to the release.

“We are excited to amplify the high-quality options of locally owned establishments in, and look forward to growing with, the burgeoning downtown Kansas City area,” Khoury said in his statement.

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