Blue Moose in Prairie Village begins outdoor patio expansion, a move prompted by pandemic

Blue Moose

Blue Moose Bar and Grill at the Village Shops in Prairie Village is renovating its outdoor patio, and construction will take about a month. The restaurant will still have cocktail, bar and dining seating open until the renovation is completed. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Blue Moose Bar and Grill’s patio expansion is underway.

The Prairie Village Shops staple began renovations earlier this month that will result in a larger outdoor dining patio encompassing 1,850 square feet, nearly double the size of its old outdoor dining area.

Blue Moose’s patio expansion was approved by the Prairie Village Planning Commission in March, and Bethany Neal with KC Hopps, which owns the restaurant, said the process should only take a month to complete.

“We are thrilled to offer more outdoor seating options and a new beautiful look, including new furniture, design, color and more surprises,” Neal said.

Neal said the patio will remain closed during construction, but plenty of seating will be available between the dining, cocktail and bar areas of the restaurant.

Additionally, Blue Moose has its sun room on the building’s south side open for dining. They will also be remodeling the restaurant’s interior, Neal said, and announcing new food and drink menu updates.

The decision to undertake a patio expansion signals a dramatic change of circumstances for the popular eatery from just a few months ago.

In December, the Blue Moose announced on Facebook that it would close permanently at the end of 2020 due to financial struggles brought on by the pandemic.

But Blue Moose quickly shifted gears following an outpouring of community and patron support, plus a new round of federal COVID-19 small business relief, and announced in the final week of last year that it was going to stay open.

Ed Nelson, KC Hopps president, previously told the Prairie Village Planning Commission that without a patio, a restaurant isn’t viable during a pandemic in his opinion.

In a press release, Blue Moose owners said a larger patio — more conducive for handling socially distanced, outdoor dining — was always part of Blue Moose’s plans to “succeed through these tough times.”