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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect business owners, forcing five local restaurants to announce closures in the past two weeks alone.


Bluestem in Westport announced Tuesday that after 17 years, they will be serving guests for the last time on Saturday, Dec. 19.

“We have put much thought and care into our decision to part ways with our beloved restaurant on the corner of Westport Road,” it said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The company went on to say that it’s most cherished memories will forever be the relationships it has made through Bluestem with staff, guests and the local community.

Gojo Japanese Steakhouse

Gojo Japanese Steakhouse made the announcement late Thursday morning, Nov. 19, saying that after significant stress from the pandemic, the store must permanently close.

However, the restaurant that has been in Westport for over 40 years announced their sauce recipes will soon be available to local Kansas City grocery stores and online for nationwide shipping.

“Our 40-year legacy starts and ends with our customers. We are so grateful for your continued support and loyalty for the last four decades and hopefully for several more to come,” the company stated.


Howard’s, an organic restaurant, grocery story and catering company that opened five years ago at 1708 Oak St., plans to close at the end of December, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

“Not sure what the next phases will be next year but we will definitely keep building our farm and growing a lot of good veggies with a commitment to finding our way in the new food culture we’re living in,” the business posted on Facebook Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The Mixx

According to The Kansas City Star, The Mixx closed its downtown location when its lease came up for renewal in late October. The fast-casual eatery, which opened its location at 1347 Main St. in the Kansas City Power & Light District in 2009, plans to turn its attention and efforts to its two other locations.

“We look forward to returning Downtown in the future, and you will be the first to know,” a Nov. 11 Facebook post from the company reads.


According to the Star, Poi-o in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood and Howard’s Grocery, Cafe & Catering in the East Crossroads also recently closed.

Poi-ō, 1000 W. 25th St., took to Facebook Friday to announce their closing. The wood-fired chicken restaurant’s last day will be Saturday, Nov. 28.

“Thank you Kansas City for the continual love and support. All of us at Poi-ō love you back!”