Chef Josh Eans takes over Columbus Park’s Happy Gillis

The American’s former sous chef and his wife are the new owners of the popular breakfast and lunch spot

Loyal customers of Happy Gillis, the popular Columbus Park breakfast and lunch spot, probably won’t notice much different when they head in for a meal today but there will be one big change. Or make that two. As of today, the restaurant is being operated by its new owners, Josh Eans, who left his position as sous chef at the renowned American Restaurant for the opportunity, and his wife, Abbey-Jo, who is also a trained chef.

The couple, who previously worked together to open and create the menu for The Drop Bar & Bistro in Martini Corner and Blanc Burgers + Bottles, say they hope operating a daytime only restaurant will afford them more time with their three young children. Although the change of ownership will have a noticeable impact on the Eans family’s daily life, they say the changes at Happy Gillis will be small and gradual.

There will be at least one new facet to the restaurant: Eans plans to host occasional dinners with beer pairings there. Eans, a Certified Cicerone (the beer equivalent of a sommelier), has plenty of experience creating menus for beer events at various venues around Kansas City, including a private event last Friday for KC-based distributors Central States, which served as the official introduction for a beer Eans himself helped create. That brew, Sante Fe Brewing Company’s Imperial Smoked Rye Porter, is currently on tap at Bier Station in Waldo and Burg & Barrel in Overland Park.

Photo: Happy Gillis