Centered Spirit-Now Open in Waldo


With all the current chatter about health insurance, premiums, who’s covered, rising costs–it can be just another source of stress to our already fast paced lives. If you want to investigate a different style of taking care of your mind and physical body, consider a visit to Centered Spirit, a new Cultural and Holistic Center in Waldo.

massage roomCentered Spirit believes in “the body’s innate wisdom and natural ability to find health and achieve balance”. Alex Jackson has been practicing traditional Mayan medicine for fourteen years, first in a Brookside office location. He and his wife Emilie opened Centered Spirit in January 2017. Alex works with patients regarding digestive disorders, muscle pains, anxiety, female health issues, depleted energy and offers several types of traditional therapies, such as Maya Abdominal Massage, cupping, holistic counseling, acupuncture and herbal remedies.  Alex explains that “different life events can trigger physical changes in your body as well as emotional stress.”  He takes the time to “assess, connect and heal” with the goal of solutions that will work for each unique person for the long term.


Their expanded facility at 8131 Wornall has four treatment rooms plus an infrared sauna as well as a larger community area for classes and teaching. To celebrate Emilie’s native country of France, they have opened a French tea room in the building which Emilie operates, featuring several imported teas from France (also sold by the ounce). Emilie recently wrote about the health benefits of tea for Evolving in Kansas City.   Both Alex and Emilie love promoting different cultures — they have travelled extensively to places like Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. Artwork they have purchased while roaming the Earth hangs throughout the building, and the couple loves sharing their passion for other cultures through food, art and healing traditions.  Centered Spirit also offers workshops for the public; the next one is April 1-2, 2017 titled “Life On Purpose”.

a and e


Centered Spirit is located at 8131 Wornall–that is the southeast corner of 81st Terrace and Wornall. If you would like to find out more about their services–stop by for a cup of tea! Or contact Alex Jackson at 816 225 9393. The Centered Spirit blog, with their event listings, is posted at

BKS Artisan Ales Plans Early 2017 Opening in Brookside East

You’ve heard the rumors….here’s what we know so far about yet another locally owned business coming to Brookside East. It’s  BKS Artisan Ales. I recently spoke with  Brian Rooney about his plans.

Brian has been a home brewer for several years. He’s won awards for his beer in a few competitions and decided to “take the hobby a little bit further” by opening to the public. He wanted to stay in his neighborhood of Brookside, and rented space from Butch Rigby at 633 E 63rd St.  (This building is also home for Farm Dog StudiosAmina Marie Millinery and Golden and Pine).   Brian owns the business along with his wife Mary and a few silent investors.

This brewery will be different than many of the craft brew places that have opened up the past few years. Brian explained BKS Artisan Ales will be open from noon – 5 on Saturdays, with a possible expansion to Sundays after getting established in the space. There will be eight taps and his bottled beer for sale. No food service—however, visitors are welcome to bring in their own eats to enjoy while sampling the beers.

One of the reasons Brian decided to open his own place was to offer some interesting brews you can’t find elsewhere. He will not brew the same beers over and over—what’s offered will be constantly changing. He has a passion for brewing, and explained he’s not “money driven” with this new business—he’s doing it to give people “a different experience” . There will be two sides to the space: the beer production side and the tasting room with approximately fifty seats.


The space build-out is on track to be completed by this month.  Outside, there’s progress:  the patio was recently poured and a garage door with awning and fencing has been installed.  BKS Artisan Ales plans to open in February or March of next year.  

Of course, once the business is open and running….I’ll let you know through the blog.  Brookside East is the hot new area for businesses in our neighborhood–special thanks to Butch Rigby for making it happen and encouraging entrepreneurship in Brookside!


Neighborhood Café – Now Open in Waldo


I was trying to think of full service, big menu breakfast spots in Waldo….came up with Classic Cookie at 75th and Wornall and Game Day at 8950 Wornall. Now there is another option, Neighborhood Cafe, at 7531 Wornall next to Lew’s . It opened at the end of August and is already drawing breakfast crowds on the weekends.


Veteran’s Wall at Neighborhood Cafe

Neighborhood Cafe is more than just breakfast…they offer a large menu featuring ‘home style’ cooking: meatloaf, liver and onions, burgers, open faced sandwiches, hoagies, ‘skillets’ and on Sundays: all you can eat fried chicken. All of the baking is from scratch (biscuits, pies, cornbread) and breakfast is served all day. No matter when you choose to dine here….the server brings you a cinnamon roll with water upon being seated! Like the original Lees Summit location, decor features reprints of front page newspapers commemorating significant events and a Veteran’s Wall displaying photos of those who have served.


Tony Olson, Owner, Neighborhood Cafe in Waldo

So what’s the background here? Tony Olson and his wife Kelly own the successful Lees Summit spot,  and were approached about opening another restaurant in Waldo. Tony spent some time here, liked the ‘small town’ feel and the active business association–and decided to expand. Tony told me the cafe has had ‘a very warm welcome’ from area residents and other business owners. This place is large–plenty of tables and booths, plus counter seating and another section that can be used for private events. I haven’t eaten here (yet!) — but I will say I was welcomed with a warm smile and friendly greeting when I walked in for the first time.

You can read more about Neighborhood Cafe on their website–and check out the extensive menu. Current hours are Sunday through Thursday, 6am-3pm and Friday/Saturday 6am-9pm. Tony hopes to be open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday at some point. Stop by and check out another locally owned business in Waldo!

New Ice Cream Shop in Waldo – Betty Rae’s

It’s ice cream season! And our neighborhood is buzzing about Waldo’s newest ice cream shop, Betty Rae’s Ice Cream. So far, business has exceeded owner David Friesen’s expectations. He is serving such a high quality product–you will probably be making several trips there this summer as well!

betty ice cream

Betty Rae’s Ice Cream offers fresh, cool treats, made with real flavors right in the shop!

Yep, it’s all homemade right here in the shop: all the sauces (fudge, peanut butter, marshmallow, etc); the cakes, brownies and cookies (David has an extensive baking background) ; the waffle cones and of course the ice cream itself. Twenty four delicious flavors, ranging from the usual vanilla bean to the more exotic lavender honey (a flavor David created with his wife). Friesen uses real flavors, not extracts or oils. For example — the lavender honey flavor starts with David using real flowers, steeped in hot cream. The root beer flavor uses the actual raw ingredients to create the root beer flavor. He is meticulous about quality control — and you can really taste the difference. He makes up to 7 batches of ice cream per day, five gallons each batch. Most of his 12-16 hour days are spent doing prep work preparing the ingredients — once in the special superfast machine, the product freezes in 5-10 minutes. There are a couple of non-dairy and vegan options available as well and coming this summer: cocktail size shakes with liquor!

betty owner

David Friesen, owner Betty Rae’s Ice Cream

This is David’s first small business, and I asked him what has surprised him most since he opened. He said “after all the years of planning, getting the place ready, developing the flavors and product–now that we are open, it all works properly!”. He is grateful for the strong response from the area: so many families and kids walking in the neighborhood, stopping in for treats. All of his hard work is paying off as business has been terrific so far.

Try Betty Rae’s Ice Cream soon–it’s located at 7140 Wornall. Hours are 11am-8pm, Sunday through Thursday; open until 10:00pm Friday and Saturday.

Waldo Crawldo Happens Sat 6/11/16


It’s time for that crazy and fun  annual event, the Waldo Crawldo! It’s happening this Saturday June 11, 2016 in the heart of Waldo from 8pm-midnight. 

This year’s theme is Superheroes and Villains–so do dress up! Prizes will be awarded in various categories. Of course there are drink specials at each spot–ten bars are participating, including Lew’s Bar and Grill, Quinton’s Waldo Bar, Tanner’s Bar and Grill and the Waldo Pizza Tap Room. Thank you, locally owned businesses, for hosting this event!

Please drink responsibly and remember, bars are within walking distance! Tickets in advance are less than at the door…here’s the info page:

Celebrate Waldo Week Through Friday

waldo weekYou are going to spend money anyway this week…on food, services, coffee, etc.  Why not spend it in Waldo??

This is Waldo Week, when some merchants offer a 25% discount on merchandise, food, beverages and services.  Over twenty businesses are participating, including Waldo Pizza, McLain’s Bakery, Family Bicycles, Euston’s Waldo Hardware, One More Cup and 75th St Brewery.

Support our local small business owners and patronize these Waldo businesses through Friday March 4!

New Pizza Joint Open in Waldo

Last week I stopped by the new Pizzeria Locale to check it out…then discovered this place has been open since late July! Have you tried it yet? Waldo’s newest pizza place is part of the Chipotle restaurant family and located right next door to the Waldo Chipotle location at 505 W 75th St.

pizza crew

Bridget Waliser (in red cap) and crew in front of the Pizzeria Locale oven and prosciutto slicer

Step inside and you will be greeted with a warm ‘hello and welcome!’ from a staff member. Everyone is friendly and patient as you figure out the menu. This eatery is another ‘fast casual’ restaurant, with an emphasis on very fresh ingredients and quick service. Each order is custom made and ready to serve in less than 5 minutes once ordered.  The Neapolitan-style pizza has a very thin, blistered crust, with crumbled, fresh mozzarella and a large variety of topping options:  capers, mushrooms, olives, peppers, pepperoni, sausage, basil, onions, etc. (Within a week, this location will begin serving four cheese and Hawaiian pizzas due to customer demand). You can order a ‘classic’ pizza with the toppings pre-determined ($5.75-$8.25) , or ‘build your own’ pie, starting with the crust (gluten-free available) and adding the sauce and toppings you prefer. The super-hot oven cooks each pie in just two minutes! So far, the Diavola and Supreme versions are the most popular with customers.


Four different types of salads are available, along with freshly sliced prosciutto and pork meatballs. Wine and local beers are served, along with bottled, cold Alchemy coffee from Lawrence KS. There is one specialty dessert available, a Budino, which is double shotglass sized portion of butterscotch pudding with a chocolate ganache and caramel topped with a layer of whipped cream. It’s the perfect sweet bite to end your meal — for just $1.50.

Manager Bridget Waliser says business has been brisk, with most diners stopping by in the evening. Seating is somewhat limited (although there are outdoor tables available during the warmer months), and it’s very easy to get all of their food ‘to go’. There is real value here too: a four slice 10″ pie with salad and drinks could feed two for lunch for under $18 including tax!  Plus the food tastes good and fresh!

Pizzeria Locale is open every day from 11am-10pm in the heart of Waldo at 505 W. 75th St.