Fairway Stroud’s closes, the 3rd location in 3 years; building’s ‘current state’ blamed

Note: This story updated with comment from landlord MREM Fairway Property LLC.

More than a decade after relocating to Fairway, Stroud’s has closed its doors, the third location to close in less than three years.

The 4200 Shawnee Mission Parkway location of Kansas City’s iconic pan-fried chicken restaurant shut down Monday.

In a statement, KC Hopps Ltd., majority owner and operator of the Fairway location since 2013, said they knew the site would one day be redeveloped so they signed a short-term lease until a firm redevelopment timeline would be set.

But, they said in the statement, that hasn’t happened, and “the current state of the building, space and parking lot are simply not to Stroud’s standards.”

They said the landlord has been professional but “to our knowledge, they simply do not know the status of the redevelopment due (to) some variables beyond their control.”

But landlord MREM Fairway Property LLC disagreed.

MREM issued this statement: “Contrary to the notice that (KC Hopps president) Ed Nelson put out – Stroud’s chose to shut down operations despite having a contractual lease obligation though March 2022. Landlord is pursuing KC Hopps for back rent owed and future lease obligations correspondingly. There is no truth to Stroud’s being shut down due to ‘development’ and the referenced ‘needed repairs’ are a direct result of tenant’s unwillingness, or inability, to make the necessary investment in its premises.”

On Wednesday, Brian Douglas, spokesman for MREM, said the company expects KC Hopps to “perform per their contractual lease obligations.”

“At no point did we force them out, nor did we have any influence on KC Hopps’ decision to shut down operations at this location,” Douglas said. “It caught everyone off guard.”

Douglas said MREM’s notice came when they saw a moving truck in the Stroud’s parking lot and later the closing sign on the door.

Officials with KC Hopps declined to comment on MREM’s statement on Wednesday.

The 25 employees will be offered positions at the other restaurants in the Northland and Overland Park. Stroud’s also has a location in Wichita.

Jim Hogan and Mike Donegan purchased Stroud’s longtime location at 85th Street and Troost Avenue in 1977. The restaurant started in that area around 1933.

Donegan became the sole owner in the early 1990s. When the site was set for redevelopment, he relocated to Fairway.

In 2013, KC Hopps became an equity partner in the Fairway Stroud’s and a partner in new Stroud’s locations. It also opened locations in Independence and Omaha that have since closed.

Donegan retained ownership of the Northland Stroud’s.

“I was still a small partner in the Fairway location. They are getting ready to develop that area and KC Hopps reached an agreement with the landlord to break the lease,” Donegan said. “KC Hopps had three Stroud’s that closed in three years. I regret seeing another Stroud’s close. I hate it.”

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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.