Raising Cane’s gets approval to take Winstead’s spot in Lenexa, demolish the building

Winstead’s has been operating at 12056 W. 95th St. since at least 1992.
Winstead’s has been operating at 12056 W. 95th St. since at least 1992.

Update: Winstead’s said it will close its Lenexa location at the end of business April 15.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers wants to replace the longtime Lenexa Winstead’s.

Lenexa has approved Raising Cane’s plan for the Winstead’s site, which calls for demolishing the building and replacing it with a 2,195-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru.

Winstead’s has been operating at 12056 W. 95th St. since at least 1992, according to directories.

“I saw where Raising Cane’s is going through planning to open on our site but we haven’t heard anything from our landlord,” said David Haddad, president of Kansas City’s Haddad Restaurant Group, owner of Winstead’s.

A spokesman with Raising Cane’s declined to comment.

Messages with the New York-based firm listed as landlords for the property were not returned.

The Lenexa site would continue to grow Raising Cane’s presence in the market. The Louisiana-based chain entered with locations in the metro and Lawrence in 2016.

It specializes in chicken fingers made with white meat chicken tenderloins that are marinated and hand-battered, then cooked to order.

Meanwhile, Winstead’s has been gradually closing locations.

On March 7, the Lenexa Winstead’s began scaling back its hours to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It had been opening at 6:30 a.m. daily, and staying open later at night.

“It’s just a business decision, eliminating hours where we weren’t doing a lot of volume,” Haddad said.

In November, a Winstead’s shut down in the Northland after nearly 27 years when the property owner wanted to redevelop the site.

A Blue Springs location also closed in late 2018 after 30 years when the lease expired and Haddad declined to renew it.

The homegrown Winstead’s once had more than a dozen locations. There are now just four Winstead’s in Lenexa, Leawood, Overland Park and east of the Country Club Plaza.

The diner is known for its Skyscraper sodas and milkshakes, grilled hamburgers, fries and onion rings.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.