By Kevin Collison
Chris Riggins wants his new Brewer’s Kitchen scheduled to open June 15 at 3107 Gillham Rd. to be the hangout for the growing greater downtown neighborhood around him that includes Union Hill and Beacon Hill.
“It was important to find something close to the residents and be a place where people see it as a neighborhood spot,” he said.
His place also is situated in a thriving little vintage commercial strip along Gillham Road, not to be confused with nearby Gillham Plaza, that includes Urban Mining and Populuxe. You can’t miss it, the front of Brewer’s Kitchen is all glass with roll up doors as well.
Riggins found his way to Kansas City five years ago after working as a regional training manager for Outback Steakhouse, working with over 100 restaurants. He’s originally from Des Moines, but after all his travels for Outback, he saw KC as a sweet spot to live.
“It’s a big, little city with all the features of a big city without the difficulties,” he said.
He got a degree in business management and a certificate in entrepreneurial management from the University of Iowa, and while entrepreneurism is in his blood, Riggins also has a flair for design with a focus on being authentic.
Brewer’s Kitchen has a welcoming vibe, largely in part to the rough former barn planks that cover its walls and the reclaimed light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. He got the reclaimed wood from a Lawrence firm, Bald Eagle Barn Wood, that salvages from farm buildings in Kansas and Missouri.
Riggins enjoys woodworking himself, and built the tables in his new place which accommodates 87 people. There’s also a dash of industrial design with metal chairs and an exposed ceiling.
As for the food and drink, the name of his new place reveals his cooking technique, many of the dishes are cooked with beer.
The menu is heavy on burgers. There are Brewery Kitchen’s own variations including “The Og” or the “Drunken Cheeseburger” or you can build your own with beef or bison or chicken, and a variety of sauces and toppings. There are several salad options as well and appetizers.
As for beer, Riggins will offer all local craft brews from 16 taps.
The hours will be from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Tuesday when Brewer’s Kitchen is closed.
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