A 25-year-old West Plaza restaurant is expanding to Lenexa.
The family owned Rudy's Tenampa Taqueria is taking the former Panzon's space in the Country Hill Shopping Center, 8710 Lackman Road. They plan to open Rudy's in the 4,678-square-foot space in mid-August.
Rudy Garcia and his son, Anthony, have lived in Overland Park since about 1980. They are partnering with Rudy's nephew, BJ Garcia, in the new Lenexa location. BJ Garcia lives just down the street from the new restaurant.
"We've always wanted to have a restaurant out south," Anthony Garcia said. "The people from our churches are always telling us we need one out there. And there's a lot of development out there — hotels and apartments."
His parents, Rudy and Margie Garcia, opened Rudy's at 1611 Westport Road in September 1993. They used many of the recipes that Rudy's mother, Dora, cooked for the family while Rudy was growing up in the metro.
Menu items now include beef tacos (they stuff the taco with beef, hold it together with toothpicks and deep fry it), taco sliders, taco salad, tostada nachos, enchiladas, flautas, portabella fajitas, tenderloins and Menudo (served on Saturday only).
The family was one of the first to bring fish tacos to Kansas City. At the time Rudy often had to offer customers a deal first: try it and if you don't like it, you don't have to pay for it. Now it is a staple at Rudy's, as well as many other restaurants.
The new Lenexa location will have about 50 employees and some Panzon's workers may return. The Garcias also are considering expansion in the region.
David M. Block and Rob Epstein of Block & Co. Inc. Realtors handled the lease negotiations.