Innovating at J. Bean’s
March 3, 2012
Tim Griffin, left, owner of J. Bean’s Restaurant and Gathering Place, and Blair Johnson, chef, share duties of providing customers with a delightful array of made-from-scratch meals, and a pleasant experience.
By Judy Harper-Spaar
Lee’s Summit Tribune
PB&J pizza, Italian nachos and fried pickles.
These are some of the creations J. Bean’s Restaurant and Gathering Place owners Tim and Ibby Griffin have concocted to with Chef Blair Johnson to wow taste buds of lucky customers.
“We signed the lease in September and opened in November,” Tim Griffin said. “Blair and I worked together at 75th Street Brewery, and I knew we would work well together. He’s been in the business around 17 years, and I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 16 years, from dishwasher to cook to bartender to server to manager. I love the culinary aspect of the business, but didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen.”
Griffin operated a catering company out of his shop in Pleasant Hill for four years, and decided to move his business to Lee’s Summit.
“I realized most of my jobs were here, and I was driving so much. We still do a lot of catering,” he said.
They cater events at Faulkner’s Ranch, near Longview Lake Marina, the Lee’s Summit Symphony, Summit Bank and Lee’s Summit Chamber events.
“We’ve even done some celebrity catering, for Aaron Tippen and Mark Chestnut and whoever’s played at the Cass County Fair,” he said.
He said they have already established a core clientele at the restaurant.
“Many people come in at least once a week, and we’re getting new people daily,” he said.
Every dish served in the restaurant is made from scratch, from salad dressings to the popular Crab Rangoon Dip to the chicken salad for the scrumptious Chicken Salad Wrap. They also offer gluten free and vegan selections. Carry-out is available, and they offer a seven for $7 lunch menu.
“We want this to be a casual atmosphere, with people coming in from the lake to eat and drink,” he said. “We plan to have events on our patio when the weather warms up.”
Lisa Mountain is the front of the house manager, and Charlie Delaney and Lonni Banks are servers and bartenders.
His wife, Ibby, has been an eighth grade English teacher at Summit Lakes Middle School for ten years. Together, they have two children, Jillian, 7, and Sawyer, 3.
“Jillian quickly got the nickname “JillyBean,” and that was the inspiration for the name of the restaurant, J. Bean’s, he said.
Restaurant hours are Sunday to Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Located in New Longview at 3365 Fascination Drive, Lees Summit, MO 64081. Visit http://www.jbeansgatheringplace.com or call them at 816-763-0220.