Posts tagged with Merchants Pub And Plate

Sunrise Project fundraiser draws prominent local culinary talents

Some of Lawrence's best and brightest culinary minds are coming together to raise money for the Sunrise Project.

The Lawrence organization, which garnered its nonprofit status earlier this year, aims to "provide education and community engagement around the intersection of food, the environment and social justice," according to its website.

A Chefs' Table Dinner fundraiser, scheduled for May 12 at the Lied Center Pavilion, will entail a "seasonal, locally sourced and inspired five-course menu" created by Lawrence chefs.

The roster of participating chefs includes T.K. Peterson of Merchants; Vaughn Good of Hank Charcuterie; Rick Martin of Limestone Pizza; Zach Thompson of 715; Jay Tovar-Ballagh of Hank Charcuterie and Limestone Pizza; and Ken Baker of the now-closed Pachamamas.

No details yet on what will be served, but we'll keep you updated. To receive an invitation for the meal, email info@sunriseprojectks.org.

Meanwhile, Liberty Hall is hosting a special screening of "Growing Cities," a 2013 documentary about the role of urban farming in America, at 4 p.m. Sunday as part of the Sunrise Project’s fundraising efforts.

Sunday's screening will be followed by dinner from 23rd Street Brewery, after which attendees can stick around to hear a panel discussion with leaders from the worlds of food and social justice.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the establishment of Sunrise Project and securing space at the former Sunrise Garden Center, which organizers envision as the site of a community greenhouse and educational workshops.

The garden center, located near 15th and New York streets, has been vacant since 2013.

(You may remember hearing this first from Chad Lawhorn, who chronicled the group's beginnings in his Town Talk blog last month.)

Tickets for Sunday's screening event, which cost $40, can be purchased at the Liberty Hall website or box office, 644 Massachusetts St. For more information about the group and its fundraising efforts, check out Sunrise Project's Facebook page.

Rick Martin, executive chef and owner of Limestone Pizza, is one of several local culinary professionals participating in the Chefs' Table Dinner, a fundraiser for the Sunrise Project slated for May 12.

Rick Martin, executive chef and owner of Limestone Pizza, is one of several local culinary professionals participating in the Chefs' Table Dinner, a fundraiser for the Sunrise Project slated for May 12. by Nick Krug

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Coming soon (very soon): Merchants Pub, new-and-improved Basil Leaf Cafe

Interior of the new Basil Leaf Cafe. Contributed photo from Basil Leaf Cafe.

Interior of the new Basil Leaf Cafe. Contributed photo from Basil Leaf Cafe. by Sara Shepherd

UPDATE (2 p.m. Tuesday): Pushed back again! A new press release from Merchants says that instead of Thursday, they'll open at 11 a.m. Saturday.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m. Monday): Merchants will open for business at 11 a.m. Thursday, according to a press release that just came in. Reservations can be made online at www.OpenTable.com or by calling the restaurant at 785-843-4111. “At Merchants you’ll find an upscale pub atmosphere featuring food inspired by the region,” co-owner Philip Wilson said in the announcement. "Our doors are open to all who wish to eat and drink well."

Merchants Pub and Plate, the new gastropub in the former Teller’s location at 746 Massachusetts St., plans to open this week. Merchants has one inspection down and two to go, according to an update today on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Merchants originally hoped to open in mid-August, but as restaurant openings are wont to do, that date got pushed back. Owners said last week they are now hoping to open Wednesday (see "UPDATE," above), as long as the final inspections go as planned.

Philip Wilson and chef TK Peterson, formerly chef at the Oread, own the new restaurant. See their latest updates at facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass, where I’m sure they’ll post the firm opening day as soon as it’s official.

Meanwhile, Basil Leaf Cafe is putting finishing touches on its new location in the old Joe’s Bakery storefront, 616 W. Ninth St.

“If we’re not open by the weekend, we’ll be open the first of next week no matter what,” owner Brad Walters told me today. Basil Leaf stopped serving in its old home, a corner of the Miller Mart convenience store on Sixth Street, last month to prepare for the move.

Walters has completely transformed the old Joe’s space — for one, knocking out the wall that once confined the public area to the doughnut counter and just enough space to walk back and forth in front of it. It’s now a cozy sit-down restaurant full of rough-hewn wooden tables, pendant lights made of wine bottles and a bar (with a liquor license). In the new, bigger restaurant, Walters plans to expand his menu offerings as well.

Basil Leaf also is posting daily updates on its Facebook page if you want to tune in, facebook.com/TheBasilLeafCafeKS.

P.S. While we’re talking restaurant musical chairs, if you’re wondering why the big yellow Blissful Bite food truck isn’t serving lunch today at 11th and Massachusetts, they — like a lot of Lawrencians soon will be no doubt — are in Winfield. Any hungry folks reading this from the Walnut Valley Festival, be advised, the Blissful Bite is on the ground now.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @saramarieshep. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Tasting notes: More palate teasers from Merchants, craft beer dinner, free sweet tea

Here's a couple of food- and drink-tasting opportunities to be had this week in Lawrence.

Tonight

La Parrilla this week will play host to its second tasting event in the wine cellar beneath the restaurant’s new location, 724 Massachusetts St. A dinner featuring beer and food pairings is planned for 6:30 p.m. today. Leading the event is Steve Wilson of City Wine Market who has selected a lineup of American micro-brews and some European samplings. Cost is $48 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 841-1100. There were still spots available as of late Tuesday.

Thursday

McAlister’s Deli is celebrating its fifth-annual Free Tea Day on Thursday, and according to a press release from the restaurant’s corporate office, nationwide the chain expects to give away more than 320,000 32-ounce glasses of their "Famous Sweet Tea." That’s a lot of free tea! The Lawrence McAlisters is located at 2108 W. 27th St. No purchase is necessary to get the free tea, but if you’re hungry the fast-casual restaurant is known for its sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.

Friday

Merchants Pub and Plate, the new gastropub scheduled to open next month in the space formerly home to Tellers, will again serve samples from its menu at Final Fridays. Owners said they served more than 600 samples to Final Friday-goers at the Phoenix Gallery in June. This week, Merchants is setting up shop at 5 p.m. Friday at the Cider Gallery, located at 810 Pennsylvania St. in the Warehouse Arts District.

“We’re having a lot of fun sharing our concept and getting ready for the opening through these tasting events,” chef/owner TK Peterson said in an event announcement.

A note for those interested in more than just the food: This week’s Final Fridays reception at the Cider Gallery will feature large-scale photographic works by Lawrence artist Tim Forcade and indigenous-inspired paintings by Colombia native Majo.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @saramarieshep. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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A taste of what’s on the menu for Merchants Pub and Plate (quail panzanella!)

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St.

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St. by Sara Shepherd

Co-owners of the soon-to-come Merchants Pub and Plate, Philip Wilson and chef T.K. Peterson, were chatting up potential customers while whipping up appetizers Friday evening in the back room of the Phoenix Gallery.

Final Friday-goers got to try two items expected to be on the menu at the new gastropub-style restaurant, on track to open in mid-August in the building formerly home to Teller’s, 746 Massachusetts St. (Previously, Wilson was the operating manager of Teller’s, and Peterson was executive chef at the Oread.)

On the table at Phoenix Gallery were samples of Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves and little boats of Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad, a mix of tender quail slices, arugula, diced tomatoes, fresh onions and bread cubes that soaked up a bright vinaigrette (a decidedly non-woodsy take on quail, and, unlike some at-home versions around these parts, birdshot-free!). I thought both were pretty to look at, fresh, flavorful and season-appropriate — and of course even better with a sip of the sauvignon blanc and IPA they were serving next door at BIAO Designs.

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves by Sara Shepherd

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad by Sara Shepherd

That’s good, because one of Merchants’ main goals is making seasonal food that goes well with beer, Peterson said. “It’s just kind of the food I want to cook,” he said. “Our restaurant’s going to be heavy on the beer side of things ... we’re beer enthusiasts.”

Merchants plans to have 30 beers on tap — all craft varieties, including Free State and other area beers — with no duplicate handles. Owners say that’s easily the most beers on tap of any place in town.

For updates on the restaurant’s anticipated opening, keep an eye on Merchants at Twitter.com/MerchantsOnMass or like them at facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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