Anton Kotar is working on a burger and bourbon concept for the River Market

Kotar is looking to go forward with a new burger-driven concept.

Kotar is looking to go forward with a new burger-driven concept.

Anton Kotar wants to give you a second bite at his burger. Kotar, the owner of Anton’s Taproom and Restaurant (1610 Main Street), is working on bringing a new concept to the River Market/Delaware Street area.

“It would be burgers and bourbon,” Kotar says. “We’ve got this nice, healthy burger with big taste at Anton’s and extra hamburger that I could use in the other place.”

Anton’s, which grinds its own burgers and has a dry aged steak burger made from dry aged trimmings, was recently tapped by Eater as having one of the ‘19 Hottest Burgers in The U.S. Right Now.‘ The 16-month-old steakhouse would remain in the Crossroads with the new spot serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“This would make Anton’s more stable,” Kotar says. “This is really about controlling my own destiny.”

Kotar has been an advocate for sustainability [check out his TedxUMKC chat on the topic from this January] and the idea of a restaurant ecosystem is attractive to him. It’s why he has an aquaponics garden in the basement of his Crossroads restaurant.

Kotar envisions using the pork from his in-house butcher shop and his stable of farm contacts to get eggs for breakfast at his River Market eatery. Diners could pick from as many several dozen toppings for the burgers. He wants the burger lineup to pay homage to regional classics like the Goober Burger, the peanut-butter topped hamburger, that made the recently shuttered Wheel Inn Drive-In of Sedalia, Missouri, famous.

Kotar, who lives in the neighborhood, is also considering live performances by singer-songwriters and dinners-to-go for downtown residents and commuters.

“With the streetcar coming in, we could even have people walk in and pick up meals that they could finish in their oven,” Kotar says. “There’s a lot there to work with.”

Jonathan Bender

Jonathan Bender is the founder of The Recommended Daily.

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