Grinders Stonewall Opens in Lenexa

The suburbs are getting a taste of downtown KC.

Ten years after opening Grinders in the Crossroads, sculpture artist and restaurateur STRETCH is bringing the local favorite to Lenexa in the building that was once the Stonewall Inn.

But don’t get the locations confused. CrossroadsKC at Grinders is a separate entity from the restaurant, and the new location will be less of a concert destination than a dining spot.

Manager David McMullin says the focus is on delivering the food everybody wants from Grinders—which includes the pizzas, grinders, and Philly cheesesteaks from the original location and two new dishes, pork sliders with mango coleslaw and a smoked barbecue brisket sandwich—as well as craft beer.

“We’re really doing everything we can to stay true to what Grinders is, but we also want to fit in with out neighbors,” McMullin says. “The tattoos aren’t going away, the purple hair isn’t going away, the piercings aren’t going away, but we’re a little bit more uniform out here.”

The Grinders flair is still apparent in the restaurant’s decor. While the building was heavily remodeled, portions show the style of Stonewall Inn as a tribute to the longtime restaurant Grinders is replacing. Other elements, such as the ceiling covered completely in street signs purchased from the city and light fixtures made out of antique bedpans, are pure STRETCH.

His work can also be seen above the entryway, where “Acorn for Love,” a stone, steel and glass piece, is suspended and at the bar that features the one-of-a-kind zig-zag tap system he created.

Who needs boring taps when you can have these? Photo via Grinders Stonewall Facebook page.

Phase two of the Grinders’ project includes getting a separate building across the parking lot from Grinders Stonewell that will act as a carryout location and bakery up and running. The building also once housed a coffee shop, which McMullin says they’re hoping to reopen with an established coffee company taking over the space.

Those additions are expected to be completed by winter, with another ambitious project scheduled for a late spring or early summer 2015 opening—a beer garden, complete with its own bar, outdoor games, a fire pit, an adjacent sand volleyball court and even a small, fenced in area for dogs.