Abby Hoover

Pendleton Heights neighbors, Chris Goode and Tate Williams, have high hopes for the former Pearl’s Beauty Salon at 2115 Lexington Ave., which they purchased earlier this year. The two Olive Street residents  hosted an open house June 11 to receive local resident feedback during Pendleton Heights’ Neighborhood Association Meeting.

This 3,900 square foot space has remained vacant since 2022, when Pearl Battaglia retired. Goode said he reached out to Battaglia to discuss a purchase, where he shared his investment vision. This included improving the neighborhood to  meet residents’ needs. Goode additionally invited Williams to join him in the investment. To honor Battaglia’s legacy, and contribute revitalization efforts along Lexington Avenue, the duo continues exploring various commercial uses for the building.

Goode, owner of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, has lived on Olive Street with his family since 2022 —  the first health-focused restaurant on Kansas City’s East Side at 30th and Troost Avenue.

Williams and his family have lived on Olive Street since 2012. He is the owner of CoBuild — a  unique, social enterprise, which uses its construction projects to provide youth job training opportunities within the community. 

As they feel stretched-thin with current endeavors, Williams and Goode  said they plan to find a tenant who aligns with the neighborhood’s vision for the space, rather than running this business themselves.

Business Owners Chris Goode and Tate Williams in front of Pearl’s Salon | Photo by Abby Hoover

“I didn’t jump into this venture with Tate thinking it would be something that created more labor for us, because we’re both dads and businessmen — we are pretty stretched,” Goode said.

Much of the feedback solicited was in favor of turning this vacancy into a restaurant.

“My hopes for this space — and this will be very vague, because that’s kind of where we are in the process — is that we are able to honor all of the sweat equity that Ms. Pearl has put in, in some way, right? I want to honor that,” Goode said. “I want to even be able to take that torch where she looks me in the eye and says, ‘Hey, I think I want to sell you my building.’ I don’t take that lightly, actually it gives me chills thinking about it because she loved this place. This was her baby.” 

Battaglia worked as a hairdresser within that location since 1976  and on Lexington Avenue since 1960.

“I also want all of these people interested in the future of Pearl’s to be happy — you can’t please everybody, it is impossible — but I want the community, generally, to approve of what happens here and I want it to be something that just makes our neighborhood better,” Goode said.

They remain determined to be good stewards of its  real estate, not just now but for the future.

“We want something that we feel proud to walk by with our families,” Goode said. “We want other families to know, ‘Oh yeah, those were our neighbors who did this project,’ so more than anything we just wanted it to be a good vibe.”

Photo by Abby Hoover

Williams said they’re trying to get a muralist to incorporate Pearl’s name into a design on the side of the building.

“Obviously, if there’s a restaurant that wants to open, then it’s going to be their name that’s on the front, but some homage to Pearl is always going to be part of what we’re going to do,” Williams said.

Williams said getting neighbors on-board is really important. He said that everyone’s been curious about the building, including one neighbor who shared she’s lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and had never gone inside.

“Frankly, as small business owners, we know that without community engagement, businesses can’t thrive,” Williams said. “And so why not just start with that, let the neighborhood decide what it’s going to be and then that gives that business that chooses to operate here a much more solid foundation for future growth.”

Williams and Goode will be the landlords and finish the building to the tenant specifications, maintain the building, and  if there’s a tenant turnover, they’ll listen again to the neighborhood to try and find a tenant who matches what the neighborhood is looking for.

“There’s a couple of people in the restaurant business that we’ve spoken to that have voiced concerns about the sustainability of a restaurant, and so we’ve not rushed to make a tenant decision because of that,” Williams said. “We want the tenant to find us, and so we’re just now, with a lot of the feedback that we’re getting, we’re getting to the spot where we’re pretty confident on that direction and going to be broadcasting to the larger restaurant world that there’s an available option for them to come and explore with us, to see if they want to kind of break the ice here in Pendleton Heights as far as having a restaurant location.”

While it’ll be a “big lift” to open the first restaurant in Pendleton Heights in years, the duo is confident  it will be worth it for the right tenant.

Pendleton Heights neighbors gathered at the Pocket park next to Pearl’s salon | Photo by Abby Hoover

Goode opened Ruby Jean’s Juicery at 30th and Troost Avenue seven years ago, at the beginning of a transformative period for the corridor. He sees the same potential in Pendleton Heights.

“I’ve taken what on the surface looks like a risky business move,” Goode said. “I understand the fear first hand because I doubted it, I’m like, ‘Oh, man, I don’t know, juice? No way.’ But then my second brain was like, ‘Dude, that’s exactly why it was important. It’s never happened.’ So I think as we seek to elevate this corner, just like we elevated 30th and Troost, the same intention exists: be good stewards over the land, be good stewards over the community and what they want to see, but also make sound fiscal business decisions as well, because I think that when those sound fiscal business decisions exist in the appropriate hands, it’s progress.”

Williams noted that the primary concerns from neighbors includes late night noise, aversion to a nightclub or bar and side street parking. He said there’s also  concerns regarding  the green space on the corner of Lexington and Brooklyn Avenues. 

Pendleton Heights neighbors have seen a dramatic transformation of Lexington Avenue in recent years, with the addition of new bike lanes, facade improvements to the Chùa Quan Am Buddhist Temple and nearby multi-family housing, new businesses and nonprofits.

“It’s been a dramatic change as far as this becoming a new commercial corridor with PH Coffee, and then the businesses located across the street in this newly renovated space,” Williams said. “There’s a strong likelihood that some new enterprises are going to get built in some of the green space, and then hopefully a tenant moving into the old City Thrift is able to open a functional business there.”

Williams thinks a restaurant in the former City Thrift space at Lexington Avenue and Ord Street would be a benefit.

“As soon as we started hearing about restaurant needs in the neighborhood, that feedback from neighbors, our first stop was actually the ownership with PH Coffee to ask, ‘What are your thoughts? Would you view this as competition?’ But then they said, ‘Absolutely, your activity is better from a business standpoint, so we don’t really have that big of a concern,’” Williams said.

PH Coffee, at 2200 Lexington Ave., opened in 2019 and has become a cornerstone for the community — hosting storytime for children, themed pop-up bars, neighborhood meetings, discussions on small scale development and much more.

Pendleton Heights neighbors with business Owners Tate Williams and Chris Goode inside Pearl’s salon
| Photo by Abby Hoover

Though they won’t open a business together, their involvement will continue after a tenant is selected.

“What Chris and I have agreed to is that whoever the tenant is, they aren’t going to have a choice as to who the contractor is, their contractor is going to be CoBuild,” Williams said. “So anytime we have to do a major overhaul like what we’re going to have to do for the first time, or minor repairs or ongoing maintenance, this building will serve as an ongoing training platform for Co Build and Emerging Builders.”

Neighbors also shared their ideas for the Pocket Park at Lexington and Brooklyn. Goode and Williams made it clear that they’d like to purchase, or lease, the green space from the neighborhood but not for a parking lot.

Big changes are coming to Pendleton Heights this summer with the return of alley beautification efforts through the Fairy Lights & Mural Project, which will be sponsored this year by the Kansas City Art Institute and led by Assistant Professor Hector Casanova and intern Jay Williamson. 

Those with ideas to share with Williams and Goode can email them at and