KANSAS CITY, Mo. — King G has arrived in the Kansas City Crossroads, but not without a challenging three-year process to get there.
Eric Flanagan, the owner of the new bar and deli at East 18th and Locust streets, signed the lease for the space in 2018 but has had significant hurdles to jump.
The trials includes a partial building collapse, a flood and the onset of the pandemic, which meant a lot of restaurants closing in the city.
"It was disheartening to read a lot of the stories around town about iconic institutions closing for various reasons, whether it's Covid related or people just you know after Covid, they're just like I don't you know I don't want to do it anymore," Flanagan said. "That's disheartening and all you can do really is try to prepare yourself as much as possible as a team on how we're going to handle it when we do open and try to, try to predict a little bit and project on what what what is the landscape going to look like."
Other recent challenges for King G, and the rest of the industry, include supply chain delays and hiring difficulties.
"When we started, the thing that was really huge for us was we had some floors coming from overseas, and it was one of those deals where we didn't know where they were, and they got lost. So basically we went to Nebraska Furniture Mart at the last second just bought a bunch of flooring. And the other thing was, we had some dimmable fixtures that didn't come dimmable, but with supply chain, we tried to figure out how long would take to get the right ones," Flanagan explained.
Solving the hiring problem was not as simple as working with what they had.
"We paid a little bit above market. We look for people with vibrant personalities and maybe half of them hadn’t cooked before, but we had the proper managers, teach them all the technical stuff, pay him a little bit above rate and really sell what we're trying to do," Flanagan said. "I think if you view your team as partners, almost like you're pitching investors, it goes a long way with bringing the right team on. We definitely did that on the bar side as well. We tried to pitch our location or concept. What we're trying to do, what's gonna be the feel of this place, and before you know, people started signing on."
The opening of King G continues what the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and its health department say has been a regular process of issuing permits across the food service industry.
They say it speaks to the adaptability of the industry and finding new revenue streams in a pandemic climate.
We've created a Facebook group, We're Open Kansas City, where members of the community can post businesses serving their community.