The Umscheid family received a curse and then a blessing during recent years.
Scott Umscheid plans to make the most of his unique restaurant two years after his wife survived treatment for breast cancer. They recently opened Scott’s Kitchen and Catering at Hangar 29, just off of Interstate 29 in central Platte County.
Dana (Donald) Umscheid — a 1987 graduate of Platte County — discovered a lump on her breast in May of 2015. Her spirit and ensuing recovery from seven months’ worth of radiation and chemotherapy helped provide the inspiration for her husband to a turn a passion into a family business venture. Scott’s Kitchen opened on Monday, July 10, fulfilling a dream for a competitive barbecue cook turned restaurateur.
“It has been about as fun and rewarding over the last six weeks working with her as well as the rest of my family as about any time we’ve ever had,” Scott Umscheid said. “We are fiercely committed, so that goes across each and every one of us. Her work ethic has always been remarkable.
“I’ve done this enough times for other people in my life. We’re just not going to mess this up. We can’t.”
With a unique location and hours, Scott’s Kitchen quickly gained traction for locals.
A catering business had been located in the former Enterprise Rent-A-Car building at 11920 N. Ambassador Dr. — just off exit 13 from Interstate 29. Umscheid took advantage of the existing garage entrance to make room for a new commercial smoker that helps him prepare the restaurant’s signature smoked meats.
Scott’s Kitchen opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast (served until 11 a.m.) and then also serves lunch until 3 p.m. All meals make use of traditional barbecued meats, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and housemade sausages.
Early reviews have provided Umscheid with optimism.
“Candidly, I’m just blown away,” he said. “It’s remarkable to see people commenting on your business. I open every review holding my breath.”
Formerly a worker in restaurant chains and food service companies, Umscheid had been competing in barbecue competitions for a decade.
Success and a competitive drive fueled the hobby that would eventually become his current restaurant. The inspiration for using the smoked meats in breakfast tacos, burritos and bowls come from a Texas culinary tradition, and Umscheid also offers tacos, burritos and bowls at lunch that fuse traditional BBQ style with a Mexican flair, a takeoff on Chipotle’s successful fast food model.
“We haven’t yet figured out a good name for it, but we’re going to figure it out,” Umscheid said.
Scott’s Kitchen also offers traditional breakfast (eggs, bacon, pancakes and biscuits and gravy), and the lunch menu boasts plenty of “regular” BBQ sandwiches and platters to go with housemade sides. The rub on the meats uses a noticeable dose of sweetness that leads to a unique and complex flavor.
Scott’s Kitchen hopes to carve out its niche in Kansas City’s extremely competitive BBQ scene despite not expressly advertising that fare in its name.
“Let’s take a huge swing and see if it works,” Umscheid said. “And so far it’s working — very well. People are really enjoying it.”
Scott’s Kitchen utilizes an airport theme to go with its location.
Situated on the northern edge of a hotel corridor, the building doesn’t have a ton of surrounding amenities. Umscheid believes that’s part of what makes the restaurant a place to serve as breakfast/lunch spot with the feel of a diner.
Umscheid believes the proximity KCI Airport matches with his breakfast/lunch model.
The building seats about 40 at tables and barstool/counters with some of those located in the entryway. The family even incorporated old airplane metal into some of the interior décor.
“We are 5 or 10 minutes from everything but next to nothing,” Umscheid said. “But really, we’re next to the airport is what we are and that’s what we need to say and be and do.”
Scott’s Kitchen offers dine-in and carryout service at (816) 270-0505 with plans to add online ordering at www.scotts-kitchen.com. Catering is also available, and Umscheid plans to continue on in weekend competitions, continuing to improve his food product.
Dana Umscheid, an experienced nurse, works to support the venture with Scott rising early to be in at 3 a.m. to start the cooking process. For right now, the Umscheids will continue to “play restaurant” on the weekdays, hoping to take a passion into a business into a long-term success story.