Our mission at Nica's 320 is to provide a unique dining experience of the highest quality with exceptional service in a fun, friendly and creative atmosphere.
IN THE NEWS
Pitch Magazine - 2011
KCTV 5, 2011
Kansas City Star - Monday, June 27, 2011
by Joyce Smith
New cafe opens in Lionsgate Marketplace (Online article)
Overland Park restaurant relocating to the Shiraz spot in the Crossroads
Nica's has found a new home.
Owner Bryan Merker opened Nica's Cafe in LionsGate Marketplace, 14319 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, in early 2010.
He closed it in late 2010 to relocate.
He's since looked at several locations, including the former Corner Restaurant spot in Westport (which he said needed many infrastructure improvements), and the former Shiraz space (but an investor dropped out due to a family illness).
A customer reading about the frustrations on Nica's Café's Facebook page then stepped up with some funds.
So the restaurant, which will now be known just as Nica's, is scheduled to open Aug. 1 in the former Shiraz spot at 320 Southwest Blvd.
Merker is remodeling the location and "embracing its history," including two old blacksmith chimneys that he'll use as part of the décor in a back room.
He'll build a stage in the room for live music on weekends, and maybe add a movie screen for 'dinner and movie' nights. The space also will be used for watching sports events or for holding corporate meetings.
The front room will be refreshed with an "artsy theme" featuring illuminating metal and glass, and also serve as a showcase for area glass and metal artists.
"We did fine out south but we were kind of outgrowing the space," Merker said. "We were getting the neighborhood business but we found, with time, most of our customers were coming from Midtown, Downtown, the Plaza area."
Nica's menu is a fusion of different cuisines pan fried lasagna noodles, bruschetta-style pizzas, and bourbon bread pudding, along with crepes, steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads, and bubble tea.
"I think that (Crossroads) neighborhood is very focused on one kind of cuisine - you're a Thai restaurant or Italian or Spanish tapas," Merker said. "We deal with eight different kinds of cuisines but in the form that everyone can relate to sandwiches, pizzas. We'll have a.gourmet mac-n-cheese with 19 different toppings candied jalapenos, mango carmelized onions, smoked bacon. You'll be able to order a steak prepared Cajun, Carribean, French, Italian."
Nica's hopes to have its website up with new menu later next week at www.nicas320.com
Shiraz closed in late 2008 after more than 14 years of operation.
ABOUT BRYAN MERKER
NICA'S 320: Gourmet comfort food served in a casually elegant, and creative atmosphere
- One of the top 20 chefs of San Diego, CA while working at * MIXX* restaurant
- Sliced his way into the local culinary scene at the much loved Fedora Café on the Country Club Plaza
- PB & J group assisting at Grand Street Café, YaYa's and Coyote Grill
- Hereford House/ Pierpont's Kansas City
- Seaport Café New Orleans
- Rock Bottom Brewery Portland, OR
- Leschi Café Seattle Wa
- Vignette San Francisco, CA
- Morton's Steakhouse Burbank, CA
Nica's 320 is the latest restaurant created by Executive Chef /Proprietor Bryan Merker, his wife Monica (a.k.a. Nica) and business partner Phil Dunn. Nica`s 320 is the fulfillment of our vision of the complete dining experience.
We are a fusion restaurant that offers diners a one of a kind menu with endless options on how their meal is prepared. We take traditional flavors like Italian, Thai, Carribbean and Cajun and prepare them as your choice of entree. Entree's like Wok fried noodles, gourmet mac and cheese, open faced sandwiches, bruschetta style pizzas, crepes, steaks and roasted chicken just to name a few.
We offer one of the best gourmet breakfast menu's in the city. Our southern style breakfast is highlighted by cornbread pancakes, open faced omeltte sandwiches and New Orleans style French beignets.
Nica's 320's mixologist's have crafted a drink menu that is just as unique as our food. Looking for cocktails? Try one of our hand crafted specialty cocktails or perhaps a drink from our absinthe fountain. Nica's 320 also offers a wide array of boutiqe wines and a variety of ales, lagers and micro-Brews.
Our main dining area is highlighted by a 30 foot hammered steel topped bar. Local artists' works adorn our exposed brick walls, and the high ceilings and warm lighting offer a truly urban and eclectic atmosphere Nica`s 320's back room ("Red Room") is a Crossroads treasure, complete with state of the art sound and high def video projection on a 12 x 7 screen, and flat screen t.v.s. Nica's "Red Room" is soon to be the toast of the crossroads offering live entertainment and special events on a weekly basis. Nica's 320 also offers one of the best outdoor dining area's in the Crossroads on our "shotgun style" patio, secluded and well shaded it's the perfect lunch hour getaway.
WHY THE CROSSROADS?
The crossroads is Kansas City's creative Mecca. Art, live music, culture and cutting edge restaurants combine to create an entertainment experience that is unequaled and uniquely Kansas City. The Crossroads is thriving with local businesses and some of Kansas City's best local eateries. Located just blocks away from the new Kauffman Performing Arts Center and home to the now famous "First Friday" events the Crossroads is only getting better! Our concept, creativity and DIY attitude compliments the area and we look forward to the evolution of Nica's!