A new spin on Made in KC’s local-first, retail-cafe concept — complete with a drive-thru window and shuffleboard bar — will provide a vibrant and dynamic new experience for the Tower East neighborhood in Midtown, said Keith Bradley.
“It will be a very unique space, with nothing in the city that can be easily compared,” said Bradley, co-owner of Made in KC, describing the move to a renovated location at Martini Corner, 31st and Oak streets. “And it will allow our business to grow in some unique ways.”
Part of a $4 million project in the former Linwood Ice Cream building, 325 E. 31st St., Made in KC is expected to take most of the first floor of the two-story structure, according to CityScene KC, which first reported the move.
The building most recently was home to Midtown Mattress Outlet.
Click here for more background on the Martini Corner development, which centers on a resurging portion of residential and retail center known as Tower East.
The Midtown space is set to feature a Made in KC Cafe that is separate from the Made in KC retail area and better equipped to handle drive-up orders amid COVID-19 precautions, Bradley told Startland News. A new shuffleboard concept called “Ludo’s,” an office area for Made in KC’s headquarters, and room for additional retailers to operate in the space round out the plans, he added.
“This is not a marketplace concept, but rather a collection of other businesses to create a great retail experience in Midtown,” Bradley said, calling the opportunity “too good to pass up.”
Click here to shop Made in KC’s curated local retail goods online.
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Opening the Martini Corner location will mean permanently closing and relocating Made in KC’s main operations in the Crossroads. It’s headquarters currently sit above the Made in KC flagship store at 509 E. 18th St., which has been closed to the public since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The transition to the new space is expected this fall, Bradley said, noting the timeline is in flux.
“Martini Corner and the 31st Street Corridor are going to be great places to do business and enjoy Kansas City for years to come,” he said. “Interestingly enough, the ongoing pandemic did not play a role in this move. A lot of this was in the works prior to 2020.”
Made in KC’s Crossroads retail location opened in spring 2018 amid a months-long flurry of activity for the retail startup, which also saw the debuts of its original Made in KC Cafe concept downtown at 1114 Baltimore Ave., its Made in KC Creative Studios space in the Crossroads, and the wildly popular Made in KC Marketplace on the Country Club Plaza.
The brand also operates shops at Briarcliff, Corinth Mall and Prairie Fire.
“We’ve loved having a presence in the Crossroads, and the neighborhood has been great to us,” said Bradley. “We will certainly miss it, but won’t be far away and will continue to have a presence in some new way going forward.”
Another in-the-works project: Made in KC’s trolley concept in River Market appears closer to arrival than ever before, he said.
The project — a full service cafe within a vintage, refurbished Kansas City streetcar that offers a similar menu to Made in KC’s downtown location — is awaiting health department approval (expected within days) and liquor license consideration, Bradley said.
“The trolley has an excellent patio for outdoor seating as well as a walk up window for ordering,” he described, noting limited seating and local retail goods on site. “The bar menu, once we get our license, will be very limited with select local beers on tap, wine, and a few batched cocktails.”
Made in KC’s trolley rests in a small courtyard at 426 Delaware St., just outside Betty Rae’s Ice Cream in River Market.