Armando Romero opened his Kansas City, Kan., food operations in stages, on different sides of the street.
But when he decided to expand to Olathe, he was able to plan it out, bringing them all together in one spot.
The new Bonito Michoacan — a Latino grocery store, bakery and deli — had its grand opening Friday at 1231 E. Santa Fe (west of Interstate 35). Next door, he’ll open a new restaurant in March.
Both the Olathe and Kansas City, Kan. operations are known for their meats carved to order, baked goods made from scratch on-site without preservatives, and taco shells grilled fresh in the deli. The grocery carries a variety of hard-to-find items like Guatemalan cream and chile rojo.
Romero moved to the U.S. from Mexico in 1985 and opened a Latino grocery store in Houston. Five years ago, he relocated, opening a similar store and deli in Kansas City, Kan. He later added a bakery across the street and then a take-out rotisserie chicken.
Resistance in Lenexa
The sculptor known as Stretch, who owns Grinders and Grinders West in the East Crossroads, is well on his way to opening a Lenexa location.
But that has a few of his new neighbors grumbling
Grinders Roadhouse is scheduled to open in the former Kieltyka’s Stonewall Inn, 10244 Pflumm Road, this summer. Kieltyka’s closed in 2012 after more than 30 years of operations.
Stretch said he has control of the landmark property — homey white buildings with red roofs at the corner of 103rd Street and Pflumm.
According to plans submitted to the city, Grinders Roadhouse intends to offer small events Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday evenings, events that could include family activities, sports, private events and occasionally live music, but not to exceed a crowd of 300 people. Stretch said that includes a maximum of about 100 people in the restaurant and the outside patio will hold about 40 people.
At a recent Lenexa Planning Commission meeting, a few residents expressed concerns about noise levels and parking issues that might come with the new venue, according to city officials. But Stretch said only one area resident has contacted him directly and that person approves of the plan.
“They’re not protesting the restaurant, they’re not protesting Grinders. What they think they are trying to protest is the noise ordinance,” the restaurant owner said. “But it needs to be changed. If you run a lawn mower you are already breaking the law and even without lawn mower it already breaks the noise level, 15,000 cars go by there a day. We also have plenty of parking.”
The project was recently approved by the Lenexa Planning Commission and goes to the Lenexa City Council in mid-February.
“If I don’t build it someone will bulldoze those buildings and put in a Burger King or a strip mall,” he said. “The neighborhood will be dictating our hours. If they go to sleep and we don’t have business coming in we will close. We aren’t going to be busing people in. And we’re a family friendly operation. We serve tater tots for gosh sakes.”