Anne Deuschle, Integrated Marketing Manager, Crown Center
Anne.Deuschle@hallmark.com | 816-274-5916
Kristi Ernsting, Compass Communications
email@example.com | 913-485-1165
Crown Center Shops Announce Retail and Restaurant Changes
Locally owned businesses, unique to Kansas City, offer unique options for visitors
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 27, 2021) — A new Mexican street food restaurant, an opportunity for art classes, an expanded streetwear boutique, a new location for a hat shop, and a pop-up Girl Scout cookie booth are bringing fresh experiences to the Crown Center Shops.
“We focus on showcasing local businesses for the people who visit Kansas City and Crown Center – it’s what makes us unique,” said Stacey Paine, president of Crown Center Redevelopment Corporation. “We’re excited for these local business owners who are moving forward with their expansion plans to serve customers and visitors in new ways, especially during this difficult time.”
La Fuente Mexican Street Food will occupy the 3,969-square-foot space on Level 2 that formerly housed the Crayola® Café. Serving Mexican street food with a Tex-Mex twist, owner Eduardo Garcia offers fast casual service and a varied menu. The restaurant will offer counter service with dine-in seating, as well as carryout and delivery options. Garcia also plans to utilize the space’s existing bar to serve alcoholic drinks.
Garcia has owned La Fuente Mexican Restaurants since 2000, operating seven locations in Missouri.
He launched the quick service concept of La Fuente Mexican Street Food with a first location in Overland Park in April 2020. A second location opened in November at The Legends in Kansas City, Kan., and the Crown Center spot will be the third, with plans to open in late spring 2021.
“It’s not easy launching a new concept and opening three locations in the middle of a pandemic, but I love what I do, and people are responding to this new street food concept,” Garcia said. “We’re looking forward to being part of Crown Center.”
Initial, a streetwear shoe and clothing boutique that moved to Crown Center in February 2020, will add 657 square feet to its display floor by expanding into a neighboring space on Level 2. Initial specializes in high-end streetwear brands, including Nike, Comme des Garçons, BAPE APPAREL, Off-White, Chrome Hearts, and more. The store inventory comes from direct suppliers and consignors.
The store will remain open during construction with plans for the expansion to be ready in spring 2021. Owner Ivan Qiu said the new space will allow Initial to bring in more brands, add a second shoe wall to highlight their popular collectible sneaker offering, and create an experiential area where customers can enjoy a coffee while browsing exclusive, limited-edition books from streetwear designers.
“Our products and energy are over the top, and we’re a destination spot for our loyal customers who are looking for unique high-end items,” Qiu said. “At Crown Center, we’re able to attract customers from out of state, and we’ve had good foot traffic, especially during the holidays.”
Deborah’s Art Studio, which opened in November on Level 2 across from the Crayola Store, features caricatures and portraits sketched on site or painted from photos, as well as art lessons. Owner/artist Deborah Moreno has been drawing caricatures of people for 24 years, and she has been stationed in the hallway of the Crown Center Shops for the last 10 years on weekends. Moving into this storefront location with daily hours allows Moreno space to offer drawing classes for children, as well as painting parties for adults. The schedule of classes (with limited class sizes for social distancing) will be available this spring on her website, deborahmorenoart.com.
“I love being around people, and I’ve been going to Crown Center and Kaleidoscope since I was young,” Moreno said. “My passion is painting portraits, and I’ve made a career out of drawing caricatures of people, so now I want to teach others to draw and paint.”
The Missing Piece, a hat for all occasions and accessories store that has been a Crown Center favorite since 2008, moved to a new location on Level 2 in time for the 2020 holiday season. This location near the escalator provides a more visible spot for the store’s colorful array of fedoras, top hats, fascinators, Kentucky Derby hats, and more.
“We offer hats for all occasions, and we cater to people, like me, who just like wearing hats. Now we have a better location to showcase our selection,” said owner Michael Miller. “I like being at Crown Center because there’s so much that goes on in this area. We get people in from all around the world.”
And since it’s Girl Scout cookie season, the Girl Scouts will offer a pop-up cookie booth in the Crown Center Shops on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Feb. 5 through March 7. This is one of two metro retail locations to find favorite Girl Scout cookies ready to purchase and take home. The Girl Scout cookie booth will be located on Level 1, Suite 121, facing the Crown Center Atrium. See hours and more details at www.gsksmo.org/cookies.