Beloved Kansas City eatery now a symbol of loss

By Heather Hollingsworth

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21 2013 7:25 a.m. MST

Until Tuesday night's explosion, JJ's had managed to survive in the shadow of a large construction project that has been under way across the narrow, one-way street for seven years. The work had complicated access to the street-corner restaurant, and a server needed hospital treatment in 2006 after she was struck by a rock sent flying by blasting for excavation of the construction site.

The construction project languished and eventually stalled out in 2008.

"We go in there all the time," said Amber Blahut, 29, who lives nearby and JJ's was a favorite spot to meet up with friends. "It's one of those places that there's been so much construction for so long that for a restaurant like that to maintain such a following."

It's uncertain whether Frantze will rebuild. The development that stalled out has been restarted and is expected to open later this year with a large law firm as a chief tenant, theoretically providing a new JJ's with a well-heeled clientele.

But on Wednesday, Frantze was noncommittal.

"We're dealing with the loss of a business so I'm not sure," he said.

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