Seasoned restaurateur takes the helm at C. Frogs in the Village Shops, creates upscale steak and BBQ concept

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Forbes Cross started working on bringing the new concept for the Village Shops restaurant to life three months ago.

Forbes Cross has had a long history in the Kansas City restaurant business, from his namesake Michael Forbes Grill in Brookside to Parkway 600 on the Plaza to Martini’s in the Blue Valley area. So when he and his wife visited the Chocolate Frog in Prairie Village for the first time, he couldn’t help but start tinkering in his mind.

“My wife and I popped over and I said, you know, the menu doesn’t feel right for the place,” Forbes said.

He called owner Peter Brown and pitched the idea of forming a partnership and changing the format.

“I said, you’ve got the wrong concept. People don’t understand ‘chocolate,’ they think it’s a French place or dessert. I had this idea for something more upscale, a concept that I think Prairie Village would really go for,” Cross said. “We don’t really have a steak house or an upscale barbecue.”

So Cross and Brown shuttered the Chocolate Frog back in June — less than a year after the restaurant had opened under that name after originally opening at Standees — the Entertaining Eatery back in 2013. For the past three months, Cross has been refining the menu and overseeing tweaks to the decor, from closing off the window between the restaurant and the theatre to installing liquor displays above the bar.

On Monday, the restaurant will open rechristened as C. Frogs BBQ, Steak, Whiskey. The meat-focused menu will feature entrees all sourced from the butchers at McGonigle’s and Scavuzzo’s. Cross had a brand new Southern Pride smoker installed to produce the high-end barbecue entrees. A number of fresh fish and salad dishes are available for those interested in lighter fare. And the appetizer menu includes playful choices like chicken fried oysters and frog legs.

C. Frogs will open for lunch at 11 a.m. every day of the week. Dinner service starts at 4 p.m., with the restaurant staying open until 9 p.m. on Sunday; 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

C. Frogs will also offer a reverse happy hour, with drink specials starting at 9:30 p.m. each night. (The bar will be open until midnight during the week and until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday).

“Everyone says people go home in Prairie Village, but we’re really going to try to go after the industry people who are getting off work,” Cross said. “Because we’ve got a lot of restaurants here.”

The restaurant’s menu is embedded below:

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