Published November 9th, 2023 at 12:30 PM2 minute read
By Kevin Collison
The Cascade luxury boutique hotel opened Wednesday at the Country Club Plaza, and along with the new Strang Chef Collective inside, it’s considered a $115 million vote of confidence in the district’s future.
“We’re excited about the investments being made,” said developer Joe Morrison, president of Capital Management.
“This is the most sought after part of the city and with the streetcar and a new (Plaza) ownership with a great record bringing a new set of eyes, I don’t think the timing could have been better.”
The 177-room hotel at 46th Terrace and Wornall Road and its companion 121-room Aloft, which opened in January, has been in the works for several years. A previous hotel plan in 2016 failed to move forward and Capital Management took over in 2019.
The Cascade, part of the Marriott Tribute portfolio, is the first major hotel to open at the Plaza since the Fontaine, formerly the Sorella, opened in 2013 on the west side near 48th and Belleview.
“I’ve been at this for years at this point,” Morrison said. “We’re a Kansas City company and hopefully the community will be proud of what this will bring to the Plaza and the city.”
A major culinary attraction that’s expected to serve both hotel guests and other patrons is the Strang Chef Collective that also opened this week. The Strang Collective at Cascade features four food concepts and two bars.
The chefs of Strang Chef Collective at the Plaza are Chris Jones, Bruce Dunseith, Nicole Schute and Derek Losson.
Chef Shute will launch her second location of Verde, which features bold flavors, vibrant colors, fresh ingredients, and mindfully made food interpreted in an approachable way, according to a press release.
“The roots of Verde stem from Chef Shute’s love of Latin American cuisines and flow through other island flavors up to Spanish influences,” the release stated.
Chef Losson is opening Parma, a new take on Italian fare.
“Parma will dive into the variety of rich regions of Italian cuisine, with a modern spin on traditional, handcrafted dishes from southern and northern Italy,” according to the release.
Chef Jones is opening a restaurant called Khai-Noy, which means little egg in Lao. The name is significant because it’s Jones’s nickname for his son.
Khai-Noy will feature Southeast Asian cuisine, with a menu heavily inspired by the cultures of Thailand and Laos, including a pork belly platter, chilaquiles, curry fried rice, and purple ube cookies.
Finally, Chef Dunseith is launching Gasthaus. The menu will offer approachable German-inspired cuisine, including Spaetzle and several types of European sausages, including bratwurst, weisswurst, and currywurst.
Strang Chef Collective also has operations at the Edison Building in Old Overland Park and the lightwell office tower in downtown. The Cascade location Collective occupies 11,000 square feet on two levels.
“Strang Chef Collectives at the Plaza will showcase local talent and be a launching point for their culinary skills, all while providing a true authentic chef-driven experience to one of Kansas City’s most iconic areas,” Shawn Craft, CEO, said in a statement.
In addition to the Strang Collective food and beverage collection, the Cascade also features a lobby bar and café. A 10th floor, rooftop bar with views of the Plaza is expected to open this summer.
Guests at the Aloft hotel will be able to access its sister hotel’s dining and drinking options via a fourth floor hallway that connects the two hotels.
Morrison described the Cascade market at “casual luxury.” The interior design is intended to be a tribute to Kansas City’s fountains and water in general. Works by local artist David Uhlig can be found throughout the building.
DLR Group was the architect and interior designer, and Ryan Companies was the general contractor.
The new Cascade also features a large, state-of-the art fitness center. Live music also is planned for the lobby.
“You’re not going to know everything about the hotel on your first stay,” Morrison said. “You should discover something new every time you visit.”