Plaza patrons eager to welcome back JJ’s Restaurant

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Businesses inside the new Plaza Vista Building welcomed JJ's Restaurant back home Thursday night.

The restaurant is set to open its doors at the Plaza Vista Building, just across from its old location in about seven weeks. Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors hosted the party to say welcome to their new neighboring business.

Dozens of paintings by local artist Mike Savage were destroyed in the old JJ's restaurant. JJ's owner Jimmy Frantze said the pieces of work were special to him, and the restaurant. As a surprise, Savage painted a new piece at the welcome party, live in front of an audience.  It will be the first piece of artwork in the new restaurant.

"He combined part of the old restaurant and part of the new restaurant, it's kind of like a view," Frantze said. "I had no idea what they were doing so I was totally surprised."

Tom Butch, CEO of Waddell & Reed said he looks forward to having JJ's as a neighbor in the building.

"JJ's restaurant will revitalize itself and come back to Kansas City in this building so we thought it was a great moment to commemorate that," Butch said.

The restaurant will open before Thanksgiving Frantze said.

"It feels very special just the fact that JJ's is coming back from what literally was the ashes."