Sierra Grill, locally owned restaurant with ‘higher-end’ ambition, moving to Lenexa City Center

Sierra Grill Lenexa

Chef Ryan Edwards, owner of Sierra Grill, is bringing his upscale, fine-dining restaurant to Lenexa City Center from its current location in an industrial part of Lenexa.

Sierra Grill, a locally owned restaurant with a wood-fired grill and upmarket menu, is relocating to Lenexa City Center.

Currently located at College Boulevard and Lackman Road, the restaurant is the brainchild of owner and local chef Ryan Edwards, who converted the space from a Quizno’s into a fine-dining establishment five years ago.

The move to West 87th Street Parkway and Penrose Lane, he says, will make room for more customers, an expanded kitchen for additional cooking equipment and space for a patio looking onto Central Green Park.

Edwards said he hopes to open the new location by late spring or early summer 2022.

“I feel like it’s a great move for us, a step that we were waiting to take,” Edwards said. “We were looking for another spot right before COVID hit, and that pretty much put those plans on the shelf.”

Edwards said he was particularly attracted to the City Center location because of its traffic and visibility.

“I feel like that place is getting built up — there’s more stuff going on over there — and that if I didn’t move, I wouldn’t have a chance to get into the spot over there,” he added. “Everybody loves the area, and it’s growing. I’m excited to go there and try to do our best and bring something over there that maybe is missing.”

Edwards recommends trying his smoked salmon crostini.

The new address will be 8631 Penrose Lane, but keep track of the old space, which is just down the road from Thompson Barn in an industrial part of Lenexa.

Edwards said he plans to keep ownership of the old location and perhaps convert it into an event space or additional preparation space for the City Center restaurant.

REAL Property Group LLC announced the relocation plans for Sierra Grill last week.

Hal Shapiro, principal of REAL Property Group, said getting the project off the ground feels “really good” because he believes the move for Edwards, who he called “highly professional, creative and talented,” will gain more visibility for his restaurant in an area experiencing high growth.

“There’s just so much going on over here,” Shapiro said. “There’s proposed developments all over, from the Advent[Health] wellness campus to The Yard at City Center, to another project right across the street. There’s just all this density building in and around City Center, surrounding his new restaurant location.”

A varying menu

The old location at College Boulevard and Lackman Road, which will remain open until the move in late spring or early summer, will be used for other things like food prep, or perhaps be converted into an event space.

As to what Sierra Grill’s cuisine is all about, that’s a subject Edwards tends to dance around.

He says he doesn’t want to be boxed in by labels. But, customers may find the menu to represent a fusion of French, American and Argentinian cuisine.

The menu varies in its offerings, from a smoked brisket and braised shortribs to duck confit and meats seared by an Argentinian-inspired wood-fired grill, among other select dishes.

Edwards said he’s excited to add fryers, plus additional ovens and more kitchen equipment to expand the menu offerings.

Sierra Grill’s menu is a fusion of French, American and Argentinian dining. Above, the braised shortribs with zesty broccoli and creamy mashed potatoes.

Edwards, whose training centers on a higher-end French dining experience, personally recommends trying his crostini with smoked salmon or a burger, which are some of his customer favorites.

“I’m trying to bring in as many as those components of the higher-end dining into a somewhat more casual atmosphere,” he added.”We’re just trying to do something in Johnson County that’s considerably better than the average restaurant in a relatively casual environment.”

Sierra Grill will also have a full bar program with a wine list, draft beers and cocktail program, according to a press release.

The menu will also highlight some guest favorites while allowing the kitchen to “flex its creative muscle.”