By Kevin Collison
Seven Swans Crêperie has landed at 17th and Washington, and owner Kate Bryan is thrilled to bring her café named after a Russian folk tale to life.
“It’s just a dream,” she said. “I don’t have a culinary background, I was a home cook all my life. My work life and home life was centered around that.”
Her idea of opening a business brewed for 20 years. It first took flight two years ago when she started a food truck called Seven Swans and then an opportunity arose last fall for a permanent location.
The space at 1746 Washington had been occupied for a year by the reincarnation of YJ’s Snack Bar, but its lease had expired at the end of last summer. The old building, which has apartments upstairs, is owned by the Westside Housing Organization.
Bryan connected with the Westside Housing staff and is delighted to have found a space where she can serve her “comfort food crêpes’ in a whimsical environment that she hopes has a hint of old Russia.
Bryan was a student in Russia and came to enjoy blini’s, that country’s take on crépes. Her recipe at Seven Swans is a hybrid of the Russian and French versions.
The Seven Swans menu features savory crêpes including the KC Classic, a blend of Local Pig smoked ham, jarlsberg swiss and argugula topped with whole grain mustard; the Vemonter, rosemary sausage, extra sharp white cheddar and carmelized apples, and the Frenchie, carmelized onions, gruyère and fresh parsley.
There’s also sweet crêpes such as the Paris, nutella and choice of banana or strawberry topped with fresh whip and honeyed almonds; and Vegan crêpes including the Vegan classic, cashew cheese, arugula and veggie sausage topped with whole grain mustard and chives.
Seven Swans even features a kids menu with half-size crêpes for $6. There’s also a pastry chef cooking up baked goods.
The place had its grand opening Jan. 12, and Bryan said business has been brisk between old customers from her food truck days and people in the neighborhood.
Right now, hours are limited to Fridays, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’re doing just three days a week now, but we plan to do more,” Bryan said. “We sell out because we have such a tiny kitchen.”
Ideally, she said Seven Swans eventually will be open Wednesdays through Sundays.
As for the location, Bryan is delighted its close enough to downtown for the big windows to capture skyline views, but still has a cozy neighborhood feel.
“I love the vibe of the neighborhood and I love the view and the fact its kind of tucked away,” she said.
(Editor’s note: Beginning in December 2019, CityScene KC has become a paid subscription publication)
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