KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City’s beloved chef, John C. Smith, will open EJ’s Urban Eatery in the historic West Bottoms Tuesday, Aug. 29 and introduce his own modern version of a traditional “Meat and Three” to the Metro.

With 20 years of culinary experience in a variety of genres, Smith will debut his first locally owned and operated restaurant with a concept he’s been formulating for a decade using recipes from his childhood. EJ’s Urban Eatery is categorized as a Meat and Three but with a modern, refined twist. A southern culinary tradition, Meat and Three restaurant concepts are well-known in The South where diners choose one meat entrée and up to three side dishes from a daily or weekly selection of down-home, comfort-food favorites. Menus are created using local fresh seasonal ingredients.

“For the first time, I will be able to be a lot less serious about my food, a lot less rigid, and simply have some fun doing what I love,” said Smith. Across the country, chefs are bringing this southern dining concept to urban environments featuring the mix-and-match meal concept of a Meat and Three. Smith hand-selected sous chef Joe Spiegal because of his expertise in creating menus as well as his passion for embracing local flavors.

Spiegal grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother in Nebraska learning the basics and from there has cooked under some of Kansas City’s best chefs including Michael Smith at Michael Smith Restaurant; Colby Garrelts at Bluestem and Trezo Vino; Steven Cameron at the Elms Hotel and Spa; and Brian Aaron at Tannin Wine Bar. Under their guidance he grew as a chef and became the executive chef of The Corner Restaurant in Westport. At EJ’s, Joe will be using his skills in the kitchen making house-made, soups, sauces, desserts, and more to bring KC’s first Meat and Three concept to the forefront of the growing Kansas City food scene.

Although a traditional Meat and Three is set up as a cafeteria-style luncheonette, EJ’s Urban Eatery will be arranged so that guests enter and walk to a host counter, view the menu on a chalkboard reflecting a weekly selection, and place their order which will be served, along with drinks, to customers at the table. EJ’s is designed as a friendly, service-oriented format with a full-service bar.

Located in a 100-year old building at 1414 Ninth Street on the north end of Kansas City’s historic West Bottoms, the restaurant owners: first-time-restaurateur and longtime wealth management professional Erik Gaucher, along with Smith, reworked and remodeled the entire restaurant space. From updating the exterior to remodeling the kitchen, bar and dining space of the former café, Gaucher and Smith selected local materials to give the restaurant a fresh urban, yet southern feel that is fitting for its West Bottoms home.

EJ’s Urban Eatery will offer breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday brunch 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Restaurant hours will expand after opening to include: dinner service Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Happy Hour during the week and a Sunday Brunch. With a seating capacity of 128 the restaurant at 1414 Ninth Street, Kansas City, Mo., will be available for special events and catering.

For more information please visit or call 816-491-8262.

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Joe Spiegal

Erik Gaucher

#EJsUrbanEatery #ErikGaucher #ChefJohnSmith #JoeSpiegal #KansasCity #KCRestaurants

 EJ’s Urban Eatery is a classic “Meat and Three” but with a modern, refined twist. The southern
culinary tradition is well-known in The South but new to many in the Kansas City area.

“All throughout the American South, old-school Meat-and-Three restaurants offer affordable,
customizable meals. Now, we are bringing that same idea to Kansas City but with a local twist."


—EJ's Chef John C. Smith            

EJ's Urban Eatery in Kansas City's West Bottoms. The Original Meat-and-three.