Around the BLOCK

Jack Gage American Tavern

Written By: Mary Bloch - Jan• 22•10

It was a long time in coming, but Jack Gage American Tavern finally opened in December. The building at 5031 Main sat  vacant for what seemed like years after Blair Hurst bought it and Double Dragon closed.

Having been in that Chinese restaurant, I’m happy to say that the restaurant was gutted and completely renovated. Though there’s an emphasis  on the bar business,  it’s clear that Hurst is interested in patrons coming for the food as well as spirits–both the  general  manager and chef hail  from Plaza III.

The same menu is offered all day.  Though the restaurant is only open for breakfast on weekends, egg dishes are available  any time. For a satisfying, but rather rich entree, go for the crab hash, with two eggs and a spicy Hollandaise sauce.  The sauce threatened to overwhelm  the dish, next time I’ll order it on the side, and overall it was a successful combination.  Chunks of crab and potato matched up well with the runny eggs.

From 4-6 pm, many but not all of the starters are half-priced. The tuna and seafood appetizers were not discounted. But that didn’t stop us from having some tasty sliders and awesome  onion straws with “comeback” sauce. Despite the small size of the burgers, the kitchen prepared them medium rare as requested and they were juicy and flavorful. The baby crabcake sliders were also a pleasant surprise, with minimal filler.

On another visit, we had the flat iron sandwich. It was fine, but not as enticing as its description– it lacked pizazz. And the fries were nothing special–I would have expected them to be an important component of the extensive burger and sandwich plates. Offering   the onion straws  as an optional side would be a great addition.

The Chopped Tavern salad is Jack Gage’s version of a Cobb, only with the same “comeback” sauce with which the onion straws are served–the spicy tomato based dressing pairs nicely with the salad.

The menu is large, leading one to wonder whether the kitchen can execute on all fronts. I will be interested to sample the rotisserie chicken, which the menu proclaims is a specialty of the house, as well as the ribs–they’ll have to be pretty incredible to rival Houston’s or our numerous BBQ joints  about town.

Jack Gage is off to a running start, and has a good vibe going for it. The place is packed with patrons of all ages, enjoying each other and soaking up the welcoming and friendly ambiance.

Jack Gage American Tavern on Urbanspoon

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  1. Dan says:

    Houston’s?!?! I’m surprised to see you single out a corporate chain based in Beverly Hills as the epitome of ribs, when you live in a city that boasts of the real thing. I’m a little embarrassed for our city that non-locals will read this and think that they can head over to the nearest strip mall and get something that will rival what you’d find at Gates, Bryant’s, or Oklahoma Joe’s. It’s kind of like somebody at the Boston Globe complimenting a local restaurant’s chowder by saying it’s way up there with Red Lobster’s.

    Even if you’re somehow smitten with the ribs at Houston’s or the McRib sandwich, let’s show a little hometown pride!

    (Beyond that, I loved the write-up and the restaurant. I’ve found the service there to be notably above normal standards.)

    • Doug Sheward says:

      I love ribs, eat out often, and enjoy the range of sauces Kansas City has to offer. Mary is right though about the ribs at Houston’s. I tend to believe that the difference is in the quality of the meat itself. The quality of meat simply is not there at several of our famous Kansas City barbeque eateries. Sad but true.

  2. TheDLC says:

    It’s crazy how busy this place is and II haven’t been able to try it yet. Hearing consistently good things about the food and complaints about the clientele. At any rate, Main street is really shaping up as a nice little restaurant row.

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