Thursday, September 1

nicholas g.

Nicholas G. | General Manager/Owner
Years of Industry Service: 10
but really, he grew up in the restaurant biz so his whole life.
Although Nicholas was born in New York and his family is from Vienna, he considers Kansas City his hometown, where he went to high school, returned for his MBA in finance and now lives and works. "I love Kansas City and the urban core," he says. "I had some opportunities to move away, but I wanted to stay here and do something unique for the city." His restaurant and employees are his family and the Crossroads his neighborhood. Nicholas says they all hang out with each other often. "We have a pretty good core," he says. He also plays tennis a lot, is a news junkie and enjoys a good crossword puzzle. Nicholas likes to visits his neighbors in his free time, their "sister" restaurant Tannin, Extra Virgin, Pizzabella, The Rieger in the Crossroads and Thai Place and Harry's in Westport.

But most of his time is dedicated Grünauer, named after their 60-year-old family restaurant in Vienna. The Grünauers are exceptionally talented at the hospitality game, especially among the service industry crowd. Their names are often on the lips of servers and bartenders around town when asked about who is the best in the business. Between his father, his sister and himself, someone in the family is always there. "It's a big space, but at the end of the day, it's a family business," he says. "On any given day, we know 50% of the people in here by name."

His finance background helps him conceptualize the business part of it and not just the hospitality side. Nicholas says there are so many moving parts to the restaurant, their biergarten, private dining, and big cocktail and wine programs. He tries to find a happy medium between being a mom and pop and a high volume restaurant that keeps hospitality and service in mind. "There is always room to improve."

  Make KC Better » I could write a book about that. Better job of concentrating our resources. More density, we're too spread out. Public transit, streetcar. For the most part, I think we're going in the right direction