After three decades of working as a respiratory therapist, Jean Rhodes is hoping to breathe life into the former Quiznos space at 324 E. 11th St., Suite 120. Rhodes is having the hood and oven installed this week for the KC Hot Dog Emporium & Coffee Shop, her new restaurant that will open in the last week of January or first week of February.
“I’m a little old lady that retired in October from North Kansas City Hospital and, at 60 years old, I decided to do something fun for a change,” Rhodes says.
She’ll be open for breakfast and lunch in Oak Tower, serving the kind of food that her mom Chloe made when she was growing up in Springfield, Missouri.
“My mom taught us how to cook and I just decided to share that with everyone,” Rhodes says.
There will be Roasterie coffee for breakfast, along with biscuits and gravy and house-baked muffins and cinnamon rolls. Lunch will be a mix of sandwiches on Rhodes’ bread — pulled pork, sloppy joe’s, pot roast with red wine gravy and turkey (baked, not deli slices) with gravy and cranberry chutney. The sides are picnic sides made in house: ham salad, potato salad and coleslaw.
As for the hot dogs (which will come as quarter-pounders or all beef), brats and Polish sausages, they’ll be cooked on an indoor smoker with hickory and cherry wood (the same is true for the pulled pork). The toppings can then be ordered “just like Subway.”
Rhodes will also rotate her desserts daily. She’ll have Mimmie’s chocolate cake (named for her mother that passed away last January), cookies, and brownies.
“I fix ugly cupcakes,” Rhodes says and laughs. “They’re not fancy, but I think they taste good. And they’re a lot cheaper than paying $4 or $5 for a fancy one.”
The KC Hot Dog Emporium & Coffee Shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I’ve cooked for people for years and they’ve told me to do this,” Rhodes says. “And now is that time to do it.”