KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An iconic Kansas City restaurant destroyed by a gas line explosion last February will start a new beginning across the street from where it once stood.
JJ’s will reopen late summer in the Plaza Vista Building, 900 W. 48th Place, more than a year after it's original location burned to the ground.
Owner Jimmy Frantze made the announcement Wednesday morning from the space that will soon serve as the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Mayor Sly James, West Plaza Neighborhood Association President Joe Montanari and VanTrust Real Estate President David Harrison were also in attendance as the new location was announced.
"I know I'm supposed to say some fabulous things here, but the main thing is JJ's is back," Frantze said at the announcement.
The new space will be on the second floor, with the entrance in the southeast side of the lobby. It will have a private dining room and a large patio that faces east with a view of the Plaza. About 90 percent of the staff is expected to return.
Frantze says the new location will open with the same menu and wine list.
While details for the new space are still in the works, Frantze already has many plans for the future of JJ’s. He said he always knew he would rebuild the restaurant, but spent months searching for the right location.
"This has been a long time coming," Frantze said in a news release. "Plaza Vista was the perfect choice for us and allows our regulars to have a home again."
Frantze is planning a week-long grand opening celebration that will involve neighbors and area businesses.
"My goal is to bring the neighborhood together and thank Kansas City for all of its continued support of JJ's and our staff," Frantze said.
The 2013 explosion, which happened after crews working in the area ruptured an underground gas line, killed employee Meghan Cramer and injured several others. Several lawsuits tied to the explosion are still making their way through the courts. The first is set to go to trial in the summer of 2015.