Forbes & Matt Cross

Owner & Chef of Michael Forbes Bar & Grille

Kansas City Originals restaurants are all locally owned and operated and quite often the member venues are a family affair. That’s precisely the case with Michael Forbes Bar and Grille in Brookside. Owner Forbes Cross shares his passion for the food business with his son, Executive Chef, Matt Cross. Together they head up the team of culinary and service professionals that took over the former Sharp’s 63rd Street Grill a few years back. They share a mutual respect for the people they work with, both employees and guests, as well as an appreciation for high quality food at reasonable prices. Forbes tells us they joined the KC originals late last year because “our approach is a great fit with all that the KC Originals are known for – quality food and service and commitment to giving back to the community.”

Forbes has a long history in the restaurant industry with associations with Godfather’s Pizza, the Gilbert Robinson restaurants, as GM of the Bristol until 1985 and then launching his own brand with “Michael Forbes Grill” in Waldo for which he is best known. But his food career was nurtured by his Mom who he describes as “a gourmet cook” and another great cook, his grandmother. They taught him about food and he passed that on to his son Matt, who has become the Executive Chef at the Grille, jumping relatively quickly into that position not too long after they opened.

Together they have worked on crafting their concept that fits nicely into the upscale Brookside neighborhood with great appeal to the locals. The bar side, they say, ‘is ‘like Cheers – where everybody knows your name” with nearly 95% of the clientele as regulars. And they are very proud that their menu features totally fresh items, nothing frozen [like their hand-cut fries] and sourced from great local vendors like Scruggs Meats and Farm to Market Bread Company.

Chef Matt tells us that they are working on their Spring/Summer seasonal menu which will launch sometime this month and feature some barbecue pulled pork, a great selection of new salads all of which can be enjoyed inside or in the dog-friendly outside seating. Of course, in May we all think Mother’s Day and MF Bar and Grill will feature a buffet brunch at $25 that will include a Salmon item as well as Shrimp & house made pasta feature. Definitely worth checking out.

Of course, the regular menu and features are all pretty special as well and pricing is affordable, ranging from $8-$12 at lunch; and $14 to a high of $20 at Dinner. Wednesday is Hamburger Night when all their fantastic burgers are $7.99. It’s very popular; but then all their sandwiches are amazing – check out the food pic and recipe for the Corned Beef Rueben that will make your mouth water. And Happy Hours at Michael Forbes are available 7 nights a week from 3-6 PM and reverse Happy Hours run from 9:30 Pm to Close. You should also know they do take out and have exceptional catering.

Before we wrapped up our chat in the comfortable and appealing dining space [an excellent upscale renovation since the Sharp’s days], Forbes told us about the discoveries that were made after the devastating fire in the building in 2015 that closed them down for 5 months. . The building was originally built as part of some JC Nichols development in the area in 1920 [preceding the Plaza]. Their space was the Chartwell Hat store and it had beautiful terrazzo tile floors, As they tore out the carpeting that covered it they discovered it was in excellent condition and decided it was a feature they could showcase in the redesign. Forbes and Matt like that it connects their restaurant to the local community and its long history. It’ s great touch!

So, the KC Originals say “welcome aboard:” Michael Forbes Bar & Grille and we encourage you to visit them soon. For more information, you can visit them online at www.michaelforbesgrille.com.

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