Jefferson’s, based in Lawrence, is bringing its wings, oysters to North KC

A restaurant chain known for its specialty wings, oysters and hand-pattied burgers will soon open in North Kansas City.

Jefferson’s, which is headquartered in Lawrence and has two locations there, plans an early May opening at 300 Armour Road, the longtime home of Kelso’s Northtown. Kelso’s closed recently after 50 years of operations.

Jefferson’s founder, Jefferson Webb, graduated from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, and then sold his treasured baseball card collection and pooled funds with a loan from his parents to open the first Jefferson’s in mid-1991. A Lawrence location opened in 2001, and that was supposed to be the last.

But entrepreneurs wanted to open franchise locations. So the company expanded, moving the headquarters to Nashville.

A year ago, Brandon Graham purchased the Jefferson’s brand and moved the headquarters to Lawrence. He also owns the two Lawrence locations. The chain now has 26 franchise locations in five states, not counting the new Missouri restaurant.

“They have a family-friendly atmosphere with really quality food and a really fun, sports-oriented experience,” Graham said.

Jefferson’s is known for its wings with a choice of sauces, but the menu also includes wraps, entree salads, chicken fingers, fried pickles, Nashville hot chicken, oyster or shrimp Po’boy, mini corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies.

The North Kansas City franchisee, Devinder Singh, also plans to have more than a dozen TVs.

Jefferson’s had an Olathe franchise location that opened in 2014 that has closed about three years later.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

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