‘We had to get the doors open’ — New restaurant launches in downtown Overland Park despite pandemic

Jonathan Langford (left), owner, and Tomas Cabral, manager, opened Mr Brews Taphouse in downtown Overland Park this summer.

Downtown Overland Park gained a new restaurant over the summer. Mr Brews Taphouse at 80th and Metcalf had a quiet launch during the statewide phased reopening that followed COVID-19 economic shutdowns.

Located at 8021 Metcalf Ave., the restaurant opened its taphouse and dining area May 26. Mr Brews Taphouse, a Wisconsin-based chain with more than a dozen locations throughout the Midwest and southern U.S., including one in Lawrence, Kansas, specializes in signature burgers and craft beer.

Jonathan Langford, who owns the Lawrence franchise and another in Lubbock, Texas, said he picked the downtown Overland Park location because of the density from new surrounding apartments.

Located at 8021 Metcalf Ave., the restaurant opened its taphouse and dining area May 26.

“We were hoping we’d have walking traffic from the farmers market with people coming back from the neighborhood, but obviously, it’s not open,” Langford said.

As for opening in a pandemic?

“I wouldn’t recommend it,” he said. “But we had to get the doors open and get some income, because bills were still coming in.”

The restaurant features 35 different taps, including a rotating list of local beers, and a full bar and wine menu. For his part, Langford recommends the Kentucky Bourbon Classic, one of the restaurant’s eight signature burgers.

Despite the pandemic, the restaurant is still offering regular specials on its menu.

“It felt good to open; it’s a long process and not easy,” Langford said, noting it took a year and a half to launch the new location.

Langford and Tomas Cabral, manager of the Overland Park franchise, said they also offer takeout and delivery options, including to-go beer growlers. Cabral said they have been working to offer delivery to the apartments above the restaurant during the pandemic so residents don’t have to leave their homes.

They said staff regularly disinfect the dining area and wear masks and gloves, and all staff get temperature checks before their shifts. The dining area features hand sanitizing stations, and customers are required to wear masks except while they’re eating or drinking.

Hours of operation for the kitchen are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. The bar closes an hour afterward.