AREA serves up James Beard chef's new concept at 51Main

Black Dirt will open at the northwest corner of 51st and Main, near the Country Club Plaza.

Black Dirt will open at the northwest corner of 51st and Main, near the Country Club Plaza.

Owners of the highly regarded Justus Drugstore in Smithville are rolling out their newest restaurant concept in the heart of Kansas City.

James Beard award winning chef Johnathan Justus alongside his wife Camille Eklof are spilling details about Black Dirt, a modern American restaurant and bar concept headed for a 5,000-square-foot space at 51st and Main. The restaurant will open in the northwest corner of 51 Main, a mixed-use project consisting of 176 luxury apartments and first floor retail.

Justus and Eklof have had great success with Justus Drugstore, their first restaurant concept in Smithville.

"Just as chef Thomas Keller built his sought-after French Laundry brand, Justus and Elkof have spent 10 years building the Justus Drugstore brand," said Tiffany Ruzicka of AREA Real Estate Advisors, who handled the entire transaction from start to finish.

Ruzicka calls Black Dirt "a more approachable restaurant in the heart of the city."

The menu consists of original, clean, contemporary fare, modern takes on classic dishes, and comfort favorites -- all made from scratch. Black Dirt is scheduled to open in late Summer.

51Main's apartments and retail spaces are fully leased, except for one remaining piece: a 3,359-square-foot restaurant space.