By Kevin Collison
The Westin Crown Center, a downtown hospitality fixture since 1973, has completely renovated its former lobby restaurant and bar with an eye toward matching the wide appeal of a hip, new upstart in the Crossroads.
“We hope to have the same impact as the Crossroads Hotel,” said Charles Barr, chef de cuisine. “We’re embracing the idea that we’re not just a hotel restaurant, but a restaurant and bar for the whole city.”
The new establishment is called One East Urban Bar + Kitchen and it replaces the former Brasserie, a 1980s enclave that enclosed itself off the hotel lobby behind a facade of woodwork and brass.
“The Westin wanted to liven up and brighten the space and bring it into the new century,” Barr said. “It was pretty outdated.”
The new One East, which takes its name from the Westin’s address, One E. Pershing Rd., specializes in modern American cuisine and a bar stocked with local craft beers and spirits.
It opens up wide the hotel lobby with an enlarged bar and overall seating capacity for both the bar and restaurant of 154. The design is intended to welcome not only hotel guests, but anyone who wants to enjoy its contemporary atmosphere.
That’s one of the concepts behind the bar and restaurant at new Crossroads Hotel, a post-industrial chic spot at ? that’s quickly become a popular downtown gathering place, particularly with millennials.
“The biggest thing is for people to see the new space and get the Brasserie out of their mind,” Barr said. “We hope it’s a place for locals to eat and enjoy.”
Barr’s experience includes stints at some of the metro’s more notable eating and drinking places including the former Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro in Leawood, the American Restaurant, Port Fonda, Krokstrom Klubb and the Julep cocktail lounge in Westport.
“I want to bring new life to the kitchen,” he said. “I believe if everyone on the staff enjoys it, people will enjoy the food too.”
The One East hours are 6 a.m. to midnight, Sundays through Thursdays, and 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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