By Kevin Collison
After a soft opening last August, the Songbird Cafe at 1529 Grand celebrated its grand opening recently, taking flight with a full lunch and supper menu targeted to health-conscious diners.
The cafe is a family affair, the creation of Chris Geil, a former Grandview special education coordinator, his wife Amy, son Wesley and a couple of longtime family friends.
Geil left education for the food world about three years ago when he purchased a restaurant he liked in Grandview called Marketplace Justice. He changed the name to Songbird and after a couple years began looking for a larger space.
“We felt we had more opportunity and more of our target audience in the Crossroads,” he said.
“We appeal to people who are health conscious…with a lot of clean and organic ingredients. A bridge between a full vegan restaurant and Panera.”
When Songbird first opened, its hours were limited to lunchtime. Now, the cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It also has extended hours and live music on First Fridays.
The cafe joins a burgeoning food scene along Grand between Truman Road and 16th street.
Next door, the new Kobi-Q Korean and Asian grill and bar recently opened. Across the street is Messenger Coffee, and there’s a pizza place at the corner as well as longtime sandwich shop, Suzy’s Deli.
The Songbird also is close to the newly-opened Resurrection Downtown church.
“We’re pals with the Messenger people and having Kobi-Q next door is fantastic,” Geil said. “I feel the more feet that walk through (the neighborhood) the better.”
The Songbird offers an aviary of fresh-squeezed juices including Fire Finch, a blend of apple, carrot, beet, kale and ginger; Canary, apple, pear and ginger; Partridge, pineapple, pear, apple, beat, ginger and mint, and Robin, orange, lime and mint.
It also has a big selection of smoothies, panini sandwiches, salads, small plates and desserts. The cafe describes itself as having meals for every diet including gluten free, keto, vegetarian, vegan and paleo.
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