◆ Monday, Aug. 15, marks the birthday of JULIA CHILD. Celebrate it at Chez Leon, where they’ll be featuring dishes from Child’s cookbooks to commemorate the grand dame of TV chefs, who would have been 99 years old this year.

◆It took a while, but Tavern of Fine Arts is officially open at 313 Belt Ave. in the DeBaliviere Place neighborhood. The eatery not only features light fare and a variety of libations, but also serves as an art gallery featuring rotating exhibits of local artists, and as a venue for classical music performances.

◆ Hooked, a new seafood bar, is set to open later this month at 8613 Olive Blvd. in U. City. Owner TUYEN HUA, whose family owns Pho Long, which used to occupy the space before moving a few doors down earlier this year, tells us that the restaurant will feature fresh seafood prepared in a variety of culinary styles, and will offer quick service for area workers with limited lunch hours.

◆Blondie’s Coffee & Wine Bar is slated to open in late October at 1301 Washington Ave. Owner KATHLEEN MCGOWAN says the restaurant will have breakfast, lunch and dinner hours, as well as brunch on the weekends. There will be plenty of room—McGowan says she has about 2,200-square-feet to work with—and there will be some 48 seats inside, plus additional patio seating.

◆ While you’re waiting for Blondie’s to bow, check out Carusso’s Deli, which just opened down the block at 1312 Washington Ave.

◆ The Shell Cafe has opened in the historic Shell Building, 1221 Locust St. The eatery features a menu of hot and cold drinks, salads, sandwiches and baked goods to serve the breakfast and lunch crowds downtown.

◆Congrats to Operation Food Search! The organization won a new car in Toyota’s 100 Days of Good, where the company gives a car a day for 100 days to deserving nonprofit organizations. The new vehicle will be used by OFS volunteers.

◆ Jade Restaurant and Lounge, 910 Olive St. downtown, has closed and the space is in the process of being overhauled for a new restaurant tenant. The new place will be called Polite Society, and is supposed to open sometime this month. Owner JONATHAN SCHOEN, who used to own Savor in the CWE, says the menu is still being developed. We’ll keep you posted.

◆ Congratulations to mixologists CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE of DeMun Oyster Bar, SHANNON PONCHE of Taste Bar and MATT SEITER of Sanctuaria. They’ve been selected to compete in this year’s Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition Aug. 21, at the Uptown Theater in K.C. Good luck!


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