After over 90 years of serving the Kansas City community, The North End, located in Columbus Park, is now under new ownership.
The three-story brick building, constructed in 1907, was home to LaSala’s Deli from 1921 to 2013.
The popular deli served up an array of sandwiches, including roast beef, Italian steak, and the original poor boy.
In 2013, the shop switched hands to Pete Mesh, who renovated the space and changed the name to The North End.
Mesh, who grew up in the Columbus Park (North end) area his whole life, was best friends with Joe Ben LaSala, whose father and grandfather owned LaSala’s Deli.
Mesh began helping around the deli when the LaSalas were short-staffed and eventually, he learned the daily operations of the business.
Joe and Albert LaSala worked alongside Mesh to help get him get started during the first month of transition.
After six years, Mesh is now handing ownership over to Mike Elliott, long-time friend of Mesh.
“We’ve been friends for 17 years,” Elliott said. “This was the place I came to hang out, eat, and drink. Everyone who worked here was my friend and Pete was one of my best friends.”
Mesh’s decision to hand the business over, Elliott said, was to be able to focus more attention on his one-year-old daughter.
“He is such a great father and is with her quite a bit,” said Elliott. “Spending time with her and being with her was taking a lot of his time.”
That’s when the offer was made to Elliott to take over the business.
Owner of a construction company for 11 years, Elliott said he had some extra capital he was looking to invest in a business.
“I was wondering what my next step in business was going to be,” he said. “That’s when he came to me with an offer and said, “If I want to bring anybody in, I want to bring you in.’ He gave me an offer and I said let’s do it. It was perfect timing.”
Elliott has been working to renovate the interior of the building, including installing new light fixtures and fans, fresh paint, new trim, new kitchen equipment, polishing the concrete patio, adding four new T.V.s, and new point-of-sale systems that will allow servers to take orders and payments at the table.
Elliott also revamped the menu, creating a separate lunch, dinner, and daily specials menus.
He also removed 14 menu items that he said were not selling as much as the other, more popular fare.
Some of the sandwiches; however, are still from the LaSala’s recipes, including the Poor Boy, Rich Boy, and the Supreme.
Elliott said his goal is simple: to bring back The North End community feel.
“I want to get the family environment back in here,” he said. “I want to get the North End community, the North End vibe back, and get everybody having fun and having a good time. When I’m here, behind the bar or working, we have fun. That sense of neighborhood and community kind of got lost for a little bit.”
Taking over the business, Elliott said, is something that feels like a perfect fit.
“My wife’s mother and father were raised right here in Columbus Park,” he said. “To grow up in the Northeast area and to be able to put my wife’s family’s pictures up on the walls, it’s pretty amazing to own a piece of this neighborhood.”
Elliott said he is still looking for front and back of house staff. Those interested can come into The North End at 910 E. 5th Street and apply.
To learn more about The North End, visit www.thenorthendkc.com.