Blue Moose in Prairie Village will expand outdoor patio — two months after nearly closing

Blue Moose

Blue Moose Bar and Grill in the Village Shops has a plan to nearly double the size of its current patio to 1,850 square feet. The move is meant to accommodate more socially distanced, outdoor dining. The restaurant says it nearly had to close late last year because of the economic impacts of the pandemic. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Blue Moose Bar & Grill, a Prairie Village Shops tenant and favorite for many local diners, is set to expand its outdoor patio following approval from the city planning commission this week.

Why it matters: The nearly 20-year-old restaurant almost closed its doors for good in December 2020 because of the economic impacts of COVID-19.

But a few days before the bar and grill was set to close, it announced a change in plans. After an outpouring of support from patrons, coupled with a new round of COVID-19 relief for small businesses, Blue Moose announced it would remain open.

A larger patio — more conducive for handling socially distanced, outdoor dining — in addition to updates to its menu and cocktail selections, was always part of Blue Moose’s plans to “succeed through these tough times,” according to a December press release.

The details: Blue Moose’s current outdoor patio is about  1,000 square feet. It will be expanded into a total of 1,850 square feet. The restaurant will remove the first three parking spaces that are currently to the left of the patio, in order to accommodate the expansion.

Although the removal of three spaces will result in the loss of a couple of ADA-compliant spaces, Blue Moose will move those spaces down and incorporate an accessible curb ramp.

Key quote: “It’s kind of a weird time to be in restaurants,” said Ed Nelson, president of Blue Moose’s restaurant group KC Hopps. “Without a patio, in my opinion, the business is marginally viable, if at all.”