Golden Ox is back: Voltaire owners will reopen iconic restaurant in West Bottoms

BY JOYCE SMITH
jsmith@kcstar.com

Kansas City’s renowned Golden Ox restaurant is returning.

The Golden Ox closed a year ago at 1600 Genessee St. in the Livestock Exchange Building in the West Bottoms after 65 years.

The space was then divided, and Stockyards Brewing Co. plans to open in the bar and back dining area on the south side.

Now the owners of Voltaire in the West Bottoms have signed a lease for the 5,000-square-foot area on the north end of the space, including the main dining room and kitchen. They plan to reopen the restaurant in September 2016.

Bill Haw Sr., owner of the Livestock Exchange Building and longtime developer in the West Bottoms, confirmed the lease.

“They believe the most valuable thing they are getting is the name ‘Golden Ox.’ They will have access to any furnishing or memorabilia from the Golden Ox,” he said.

The space is being renovated and will have a wood-fired grill in a semi-open kitchen.

“But we want to keep as much of the original decor as possible, to keep the same vibe,” said Wes Gartner, co-owner with Jill Myers. “It will have a classic steakhouse menu, but with some twists. A large focus on really high-quality meats and vegetables, sourced locally as much as possible, and we will bake our own bread.”

Gartner and Myers opened Voltaire at 1617 Genessee in May 2013.

“We have an amazing staff that really cares about what we are doing in a unique, sort of eclectic setting, and our food is just really good and interesting and of high quality,” Gartner said. “And our bar is really a destination. There’s a vibe created that people really like experiencing.”

Fans were generally excited to hear the news. On The Star’s Facebook page, Max Isern commented: “Great news! My dad used to take me there all the time when I was a kid. Glad to see the revitalization of the West Bottoms and KC in general.”