The 1500 block of Platte Street is quiet this morning, with regulars stopping by Paris on the Platte after exercising in Confluence Park and neighbors running in to grab coffee on their way to work. The scene is quite a contrast to the action on Wednesday night, when the roof of the iconic Paris on the Platte caught fire. Nearby residents saw the flames (when the coffeehouse opened 27 years ago, the block had no residents) and called the fire department, which extinguished the blaze quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the cafe portion of Paris was already back in business yesterday, and the bar side will be open today. Tree House Sanctum will be playing in that venue at 9 p.m., "so everyone should come down and celebrate Paris surviving the fire," says Paris founder/owner Faye Maguire.
This stretch of Platte Street has seen incredible changes since Paris on the Platte opened, and there are more ahead. Just up the street at 1611 Platte Street, Jimmy Nigg is turning the former home of Salvagetti Bicycles into Monkey Barrel, a bar and live music venue. The Barrel will roll out soon; Nigg has booked a show for Thursday, September 5, with the Living Deads. And across the street from Monkey Barrel, Colt & Gray owner Nelson Perkins is moving ahead with the long-anticipated expansion of his restaurant -- first announced in late 2011. He's adding space to the restaurant itself -- forty seats -- and updating the patio; in the basement below, he's building Ste. Ellie, a brand-new cocktail bar; Viande, a charcuterie kitchen; and a private dining room. The entire project should be done this fall.