36

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Everything is coming up roses for John and Vanessa Klein. Their venture, 36 Restaurant & Bar, in Cape Girardeau, went directly to the top of the food chain since the doors opened on February 14 , 2015.

Their budding success is a tribute to owners John and Vanessa. They possess extensive fine dining experience as well as a love for hosting. But it’s their ultimate philosophy of constantly striving for their guests to enjoy the freshest food, impeccable service, and a comfortable ambience that ensures a dining experience that is both extraordinary and memorable.

John and Vanessa are area locals. They attended Catholic grade school, then went on to Notre Dame High School, and ultimately to Southeast Missouri State University. Along the way they picked up experience at white tablecloth restaurants where they met and were finally married.

Last year, with the help of financing from the Bank of Missouri, they began work on their dream of opening a restaurant in downtown Cape. The property took six months to renovate including complete demolition and a ground up rebuild with a lot of the handwork being done by John and Vanessa. What they built is a cozy, welcoming spot with a dining room that is special but not stuffy. It’s an intimate space and features artwork and decor inspired by the Great Gatsby with Erte style prints, a grand mirror, and an antique buffet.

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All they needed was a chef who could prepare the type of food they envisioned for the establishment now that the building was completed. John and Vanessa had previously met Chef Houston Sutton while working downtown and the three immediately became friends. The trio developed an understanding that if they ever had the chance to open a restaurant, Houston would be the chef. When the restaurant became a reality, Houston stood behind his word and is now an integral part of 36.

36 Restaurant & Bar serves what is sometimes called “American Food.” But what is American Food? We think American Food is more flexible than other cuisines and has the ability to quickly adapt to inputs from the world’s established and emerging foodways.

The menu at 36 Restaurant & Bar reflects this American Food philosophy. Your meal will be influenced with flavors and techniques from France, Italy, Wales, and New Orleans as well as great old world dining rooms and American chop house favorites.

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The menu at 36 Restaurant & Bar is seasonal without being overbearing. Ingredients change to keep the offering fresh but favorites like the Steak and Frites, the House Salad and apple coffee cake, and the Soup of the Day, seem to linger… as they should.

The future holds options including expansion into catering as well as opening a classy speakeasy, live music juke joint, a longtime dream of theirs. The wine list is always growing with the goal of being awarded with Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

John and Vanessa opened 36 Restaurant & Bar because of their love and passion for the restaurant business. The hours may be long, but it doesn’t seem like work for them. They enjoy people, food and wine, and hosting the guests. There is never a dull moment. With that going for them no wonder everything is coming up roses.

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