The owners of Summit Grill & Bar serve up chef-driven classics at their new Downtown Lee’s Summit restaurant.
To fully appreciate Downtown Lee’s Summit’s newest dining spot, it helps to know its past: Third Street Social opened June 29th in long-vacant Arnold Hall, a 70-year-old structure where President Harry S. Truman announced the start of his political career.
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant pays tribute to Truman in various ways—from a framed portrait to the Truman Table, offering family-style table seating for up to 16—but it’s also a clear product of Andy Lock and Domhnall Molloy, the restaurateurs behind Summit Grill & Bar who the city approached to open a restaurant downtown.
“We didn’t want to compete with ourselves too much, but the style of food is not terribly different,” Molloy says of how their new restaurant compares to their first concept. “We do a taco, we do a chicken fried chicken, so we wanted to take the same type of food, the same style of food but [with] totally different items.”
Like Summit, Third Street Social features a diverse array of generously sized dishes. Lunch options include Blue-Plate Specials, scaled down portions of items such as Korean steak tacos and Berkshire Sausage mac and cheese as well as soups, salads and sandwiches. (The stacked pastrami, made in-house, is one of Molloy’s favorites.)
Dinner dishes range from comfort food—shrimp and grits, chicken fried steak, fried chicken and chicken pot pie make appearances—to fresh fish simply grilled or blackened and USDA Prime flat iron steak. Creamy, buttery mashed red potatoes, smoked gouda mac and cheese, cheesy grits, frites, onion rings, creamed peas and pickled veggies are among the sides.
For those taking the restaurant’s name to heart and getting social, the Shareables & Starters section features two takes on wings—one smoked and charred and the other twice fried and served with sweet and spicy gochujang sauce—as well as chicken with a cheddar bacon waffle, veal blend meatballs, local lil’ smokies, Creole BBQ shrimp and more. During Happy Hour 3-6 p.m. daily and select plates are $2-$6, with signature cocktails also available for $6.
The restaurant houses a full-service, 25-seat bar that serves up beer, wine and 12 craft cocktails, like The Truman Old Fashioned with house-brandied cherries and The King Louie II, a refreshing blend of raspberry- and pineapple-infused vodka, lime juice, simply syrup, grenadine and cava. Pastry Chef Nicolette Foster created the desserts, which include chocolate mousse cake, phyllo-wrapped brownie and blueberry hand pies.
Additionally, brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. starting July 9th. Diners can choose from lunch menu favorites as well as options likes eggs Benedict, pork hash and Belgian waffles.
“The nice thing about this menu, just like our Summit Grill menu, is our menu is really diversified. I mean, if you can’t find something on one of our menus to eat, well then just stay home,” Molloy jokes.
We’re betting your home can’t match the ambiance of Third Street Social. The big space feels energetic yet personal thanks to plush booths and a fireplace. Though there are HDTVs in the bar area, the historic nature of the building comes through via exposed original trusswork and brick walls. The space also boasts a three-season patio that can seat up to 30.
Between the al fresco dining option and group-pleasing assortment of dishes, it’s easy to envision the restaurant adding to the appeal of Downtown Lee’s Summit, home to a growing number of retailers, eateries and other businesses.
“I think we all together, collectively, can widen the circle of appeal that we have in Kansas City and start to draw from other areas because it is such a neat, quaint downtown,” Lock says.
One thing is for sure: Once people get there, they won’t leave hungry.