(Editor’s note: This article originally was published March 14, 2022. Construction has begun on the project and a Fall opening is anticipated.)
By Kevin Collison
Puttery, an “immersive” entertainment concept that adds cocktails, technology and food to the classic miniature golf game is coming to the Country Club Plaza, a much-needed addition to the Plaza lineup, according to its developer.
The Dallas-based chain will occupy 23,600 square feet in the Jack Henry building at 4641 Jefferson being redeveloped by Drake Development. Drake already has landed a Chiefs Fit health club at the building that’s expected to open by late summer, early fall.
Matt Pennington of Drake, who recently stirred controversy with his proposal to raze a church next to Jack Henry and replace it with a restaurant project, said Putter’s arrival vindicates his belief the Plaza needs to expand its offerings beyond retail to remain appealing.
“It’s a big deal for the Plaza,” he said. “It’s the second anchor tenant we’ve landed that takes 20,000 square feet which hasn’t happened in the Plaza for a long time and neither are retail.”
The space slated for Puttery, which is expected to open early next year, originally was intended for Punch Bowl Social, a Denver-based adult entertainment venue that ran into Covid-related economic problems.
Pennington said his firm researched several alternative concepts before reaching a deal with Puttery.
“We felt Puttery, based on its model and background, was the super concept for entertainment users,” he said. “We felt it was the Ritz-Carlton of all the concepts and a good fit for the Plaza.”
The Puttery space will feature uniquely themed nine-hole courses as well as numerous bars and lounge areas for guests to indulge in curated craft cocktails and chef-inspired menu items, according to a press release from the firm.
“Kansas City’s consistent stream of tourism and avid sports fans coupled with its rapidly growing roster of corporate headquarters make it the ideal spot for our 10th Puttery venue,” Hana Khouri, president and CEO of Drive Shack Inc. said in a statement.
The Puttery currently has operations in suburban Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., and is developing additional outlets in Washington, D.C., Miami, Houston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York.
As part of its $44 million renovation of the Jack Henry building, Drake said the ceiling of the lower floor was raised four feet to provide the kind of space now demanded by entertainment tenants.
That desire for higher ceilings is one of the issues confronting his proposed Cocina47 development that would replace the Seventh Church of Christ, Scientists at 47th and Pennsylvania.
The proposed three-level building would add three restaurants to the Plaza, one on each floor. It’s being opposed by preservationists and planning advocates for being too tall for the current zoning at the corner and providing no parking.
Pennington says the design of the Cocina47 building steps back from 47th Street footage and estimated 70 percent of the top floor conforms with the zoning.
The developer also maintains the Plaza has too much retail and needs more restaurants and other uses, including entertainment venues like Puttery.
“Puttery is very unique and fund and super special for the Plaza,” he said. “It provides an entertainment activity for people after they’ve had dinner.”
The hours of the Dallas Puttery are Mondays through Wednesday, 4 p.m.-midnight; Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Friday, noon-2 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday, noon to midnight. Guests must be 21 and older.
Pennington said Puttery’s decision to come to Kansas City is a plus for the market.
“It has a Top Golfish feel with corporate clients, a lot of adults and out-of-town visitors,” he said. “It’s a one-to-a market concept and a big deal to land.”
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