Celina Tio was hoping to have good news to share about her plans to move The Belfry across the street from its current location into the former Czar Bar location.
At the end of last year, she was in heavy negotiations with a buyer who had agreed to purchase her two-story red brick building located at 1532 Grand Boulevard that is home to Collection, her former restaurant, turned event space, and The Belfry, a small, but hospitable, craft beer bar.
She hosted a final farewell party at The Belfry on New Year’s Eve, and then closed the doors to both of her spaces on January 1 to prepare for the move across the street, where she had arranged to lease the former Czar Bar space for The Belfry.
The new location was closer to the amount of space she really needed for her popular hang-out spot, and it has a full kitchen, and a stage for live music. Her goal was to shrink her footprint, but keep The Belfry in the Crossroads where her raving fans and beer club members could easily find her.
With her business sitting in boxes, the deal fell through, with her buyer suddenly ghosting one of Kansas City’s James Beard award winning chefs.
After 45 days of both businesses being closed, she decided it was time for her to regroup and move on.
“I honestly don’t know what happened to our deal, but I simply could not wait any longer, winter is a busy time for The Belfry, and I was losing money every day I wasn’t open,” says Tio.
She is using this opportunity to make some changes to her space and menu offerings. She would even like to find someone to help her rent out the Collection space.
To start, Tio is accepting new members into The Belfry’s popular beer club. Membership is $40 and for that you get a cubbie for your drinking mug, swag, special discounts on food and drink and first dibs on beer dinner or events that Tio hosts throughout the year.
“I am planning to start doing more beer dinners and tastings, along with booking bands to play live music at least once a month, and members get first dibs on all of that,” she explains to Feast.
In addition to having her usual coveted beers on tap, The Belfry is adding more wines on tap, including two local wines from Somerset Winery, that will be poured by the milliliter. Her most popular craft cocktail called “The Grand Fashion,” a take on an Old Fashioned, will also be put on tap.
To eat, she is bringing back the bar favorites like the house-ground burger and fries, house made chorizo nachos with Manchego cheese sauce and sherry onions and a rotating flatbread and ramen selection. New to the menu is a roasted veggie fried rice with an egg on top, and a couple of vegetarian options.
On the back bar, her plan is to add a small fridge with a glass door that will visually display her duck rillettes, charcuterie and pickled vegetables that go on her snack menu available all night until close.
Her full menu is available Monday-Thursday until 9 pm, and Friday and Saturday until 10 -11 pm.
Smaller changes are being made to the décor, with a few rugs and lamps being brought in to soften the space and made it feel more comforting and casual.
Even though it doesn’t have a new home, it is nice to see The Belfry and Collection, back open for business.
The Belfry is now open Monday-Saturday, 3:30 pm until midnight, and the Collection is available to rent.
The Belfry & Collection, 1532 Grand Boulevard (16th St Entrance for The Belfry) Kansas City, Missouri, (816) 471-7111, www.facebook.com/thebelfrylounge