The Rebirth of Justus Drugstore

After closing both of their restaurants within a year of each other right before the pandemic, the James Beard-nominated chef Jonathan Justus and his business partner and wife, Camille Eklof, have announced plans to open a new version of their popular Smithville restaurant, Justus Drugstore, this time in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, by next spring. The restaurant model will be different, featuring a prix fixe, multi-course menu that moves guests through the restaurant starting with a glass of something interesting and a passed appetizer in the outdoor courtyard, through the intimate bar, lounge, and wine room complete with fireplace, until guests are finally shown to the dining room, which will have a 12-seat horseshoe-shaped marble bar with spotlights shining down on it and the kitchen situated behind it. Every seat will be a seat at the chef’s table, and the dining experience will offer the couple more control over the costs, labor, and flow needed to create a bespoke dining experience for 12 people each night. Guests will prepay online for a seat at the table, and Justus and Eklof will email instructions for what to do when they arrive. The new restaurant will be open for dinner Wednesdays through Sundays only, with Wednesday night dinners featuring a shorter four-course dinner around a theme like “1920 New Orleans” or “Spanish tapas.” The more popular weekend nights will feature up to ten to 12 courses, similar to what Justus and his wife have been hosting at their home for guests in Paradise, Missouri.

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