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We’re Open: Mother, son open Grandview restaurant, brewery in midst of pandemic

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Posted at 6:49 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 07:49:29-05

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — While the pandemic has forced many restaurants to close, a mother and son teamed up to open a farm-to-table restaurant and brewery under one roof in Grandview, Missouri.

Michelle and Nolan Brown opened The Chive Cafe and Transparent Brewing Company in August. Michelle runs the restaurant and Nolan is in charge of the brewery.

Michelle explained they broke ground on the new building in the summer of 2019, well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She said the only way to pay back the construction loan and mortgage was to open the restaurant and brewery despite the pandemic.

“It hasn’t been ideal and we really don’t know what the potential of this place is yet because things are so restrictive and people are so scared to get out,” Michelle explained. “On the positive side, we’re looking forward to seeing what the potential is.”

Here’s how the Browns hope they buck the trend when it comes to keeping a new business operating when municipalities place restrictions on restaurants to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Transparent Brewing Company is the first microbrewery in Grandview.
  • Living up to its name, Transparent shares home brew conversions of its recipes with customers.
  • The Chive is targeting customers who want healthier, fresh, made to order meals. Michelle has put a focus on locally-sourced foods and sustainability.
  • The restaurant offers “heat and eat” meals to go with weekly subscriptions available.
  • The two businesses host small food and beer pairing events.
  • The restaurant features a lot of outdoor space and has two garage doors in the dining room that can open up, allowing more ventilation when the weather is good.

“We’re really excited for the spring and summer coming up to really grow and expand and get out there,” Nolan said.

The duo said it originally designed the businesses with growth in mind. The Browns hope to follow through on those plans to expand the kitchen, brewery, dining room and add an event space.

Michelle, a former dancer and dance instructor, hopes for success on her new stage. While Nolan, who passed the MCAT on his way to medical school before choosing brewing, can bring a scientific approach to the business.

The Chive Cafe and Transparent Brewing Company are located at 14501 White Ave.

Other restaurants have opened during the pandemic as well.

In Westport, Atomic Provisions opened a four-in-one concept to the historic Westport Ice Company building. Billie’s Grocery and The Combine recently opened in Midtown Kansas City.

Consumer experts say the local restaurants need support now more than ever. From buying gift cards to leaving reviews, there are several ways to make a difference right now.

We've created a Facebook group, We're Open Kansas City, where members of the community can post businesses serving their community.