Monday, August 25, 2008

Closed for Business

Monday, August 25, 2008
UPDATE! El Pollo Loco in Merriam is not the same as the California fast food chain! See Faith's post over at Frighteningly Uncommon Sense (Thanks Faith!)

A couple of updates on this front, please comment if you know more.

Pomegranate, local food maven, blogger and fellow Merriam Drive haunter tipped me that local tamale purveyors Coyoacan have closed. What's worse they have been replaced by El Pollo Loco, a truly horrendous looking chain restaurant a mysterious local restaurant specializing in that traditional, age old classic, Mexican Grilled Chicken.

Sigh.
UPDATE: I visited Pollo Loco on Monday, 9/15/08.

Another favorite of mine which I had yet to review was Max's Auto-Diner on 63rd near Holmes. They made very good little hamburgers, gyros and other deep fried delights. More importantly, they had really friendly ownership. It kept weird hours, though. I think they tried to subsist on the lunch trade alone and clearly it did not work out for them. As far as I know, there is still a Max's down on Wornall. The good news is a big sign on the window announcing the future arrival of a hot dog joint. I'll be first in line, and will report back faithfully in due course. This is a very cool little building (a former drive-in) and I'm glad it's being re-used.



Lastly the blogosphere is all a-twitter (pun intended) about the closing of Bar Natasha. I only visited a couple times, but enjoyed the show and had a decent cocktail or three. Where will all the drag queens go now? This is a loss for Kansas City, hopefully something will step up to fill the void.

UPDATE: be sure to check out Making of a Foodie for a more comprehensive overview restaurants that are closed, closing, changing or moving.

17 comments:

Bull E. Vard said...

You're going to make me cry. I loved LOVED Max's Autodiner. They never got any pub for having a great burger, but I think it was a top 10 burger in town.

meesha.v said...

Couple of years ago El Pollo Loco was shown on Apprentice and my daughter and I felt we had to try it.So when we were in California few years ago we made a point of stopping and trying some of the "pollo". I was disappointed. Much better version is on Independence Ave at Super Pollo, which was busted as some kind of drug money laundering spot, but seems to be open again. Chicken was very good before, don't know about now but I may try it soon.

DLC said...

Agreed, Bull. A friend of mine conducted a highly unscientific and idiosyncratic burger comparison tour a few years back, and Max's came out on top. I would have eaten there more if not for the odd hours.

meesha, thanks for the Super Pollo tip. I gotta spend way more time on Independence ave anyway so it's good to know what I should try.

Faith said...

Do NOT JOKE about this, DLC. El Pollo Loco is finally coming to town?

No joking!!!

As a California native who loves her some Crazy Chicken, I am so, sooo excited about this. Sorry the other place closed, but I've been wanting to open an El Pollo Loco in town for 3 years now. Don't have near the amount of liquid assets reqired, though. (Minimum of $1 million - LIQUID - and must have restaurant management experience. Also, I think there's a requirement that you have to open 3 within a short period of time in the market that you're opening one in. So that's quite an undertaking...)

Meesha, you must've ordered the wrong thing when you tried it. The food there is delicious. Next to Chipotle, its the only kind of "fast food" I eat.

Now I'm off to figure out where this place is at. Yay!

meesha.v said...

It was dripping fat. It wasn't horrible. New location still doesn't show on their website.

Faith said...

Ok, I went and looked at their website, and see nothing about a new location in KS.

http://www.elpolloloco.com/whatsnew/newopenings.html

Why do you do this to me? Now I'm gonna have to drive by it, dammit. (Oh, and before you judge them for being all evil and corporate and stuff, try their chicken. And their avocado salsa. And their boiled pinto beans. Dude, just give them a chance. So yummy!)

Faith said...

Dripping fat? But it's flame broiled.

I don't understand that...

DLC said...

This is all according to pom who twittered me about it. i have no reason to doubt it.

Shicho said...

I had lunch a couple of weeks back at the Auto-Diner and the owner told me then he was closing that location - he had been barely making it and when gas spiked earlier this year, everything fell apart at the same time.

and, yes, theirs was definitely in the top 5 bugers in town. still, as you pointed out, the (very last) location on wornall is still open.

oh - and that's a 'drive-in bank': there are still two old ponderous safes in there - they'd be an absolute bitch to move - from the 60s...

the spot on wornall, if memory servers, would be about 17 or 18 years old now.

Sarah said...

The coming soon hot dog sign on the building formerly known as Max's auto diner is pretty shabby. Just some paint on a sheet hanging up (or so it looks as I drove by). Also, they painted the building a kind of green color. It's going to take a few amazing reviews to get me in there.

DLC said...

Yes, the sign is totally shabtacular--I wish I had snapped a photo. It looks like bathroom graffiti. Of course, this actually makes me a little excited because a terrible restaurant makes for a fun review.

Shicho, as always thanks for the great background info

Happy In Bag said...

I'm with Faith- El Pollo Loco is pretty good for a fast food chain.

Lance said...

Max's Autodiner is directly across the street from what is now the vacant campus of the Cleveland Chiropractic College. I figured that CCC's relocation to OPKS had everything to do with Max's going out of business and the "weird hours" issue seems to indicate Max's was relying too much on a particular group of customers.

Erin said...

I've never had El Pollo Loco, but Mr. Perfect has been known to eat it several days in a row.

pom. said...

I had NO idea Max's was closing. Damn. Their burgers were delicious for sure. Mmm..

I better go take a photo of the new sign up...my reputation is at stake here. I twittered DLC as I drove by the place. If it's not THE el pollo loco it's A el pollo loco. The sign showed a chicken running, I think. heh. I'll get a damn photo.

Faith said...

I've got a post about the Pollo Loco sitch up today. DLC, you need to remove that link to "El Pollo Loco" in association with it. It most certainly is NOT part of that chain. In fact, looks like a locally-owned jobby...you should check it out and let us know if it's worth figuring out when it's actually open for business! (For the record, not open on either Sunday or Monday this past weekend...)

Lenity said...

I used to get a weekly polynesian chicken sandwich fix at Max's. Sigh. At least the other location is still open. It's not too far from Tasso's on Wornall. Another suggestion...the Classic Cookie ("breakfast, lunch, & cookies!") on Wornall & Gregory in Waldo.

Thanks for your entertaining and informative thoughts on KC eateries.

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