A restaurant and concert venue very popular in the Crossroads is not getting the same reception in Johnson County.
The old coffee house near 103rd Street and Pflumm Road in Lenexa, KS, is where Grinders is looking to set up shop and that is causing quite a bit of controversy.
Grinders has developed a reputation for good food, atmosphere and music. The Crossroads location downtown is pretty packed on any given night and in Lenexa, news of an expansion was well-received.
"We were really glad to have a restaurant come back in so we had a place to have pizza in the summertime," neighbor Debbie Ball said.
But that changed after they read proposals on changes that the owner wants to make.
"If Grinders was moving in a restaurant, there would be no need for the rezoning they've applied for and, so far, the city is recommending," Ball said.
Grinders is also known for its music and there is concern that an outdoor setup will be featured at the Lenexa location.
"It'll directly affect the people right across the street, but the concern is it'll overflow on to everybody," neighbor Lynden Peters said.
But Grinders' owner said the neighbors have it all wrong.
"We are not building a musical venue. I can't stress that enough and that's the problem the neighborhood has. They think we're putting in a musical venue which we are not," Stretch Rumaner said during a phone interview while he was in California.
Rumaner acknowledged that zoning would allow up to 300 people on site and up to 24 shows a year. But he said attendance wouldn't come anywhere close to that number and he addressed the type of concerts they would have.
"Those 24 shows, half of them are usually benefits for breast cancer, SIDS, Walt Disney, AIDS," he said.
But the neighbors are not convinced and are moving forward with a petition to the Lenexa City Council.
"We hope that they'll vote 'no' and not pass this in our backyard," Ball said.
If city council approves the measure, Grinder's Lenexa could open as early as summer.
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