816 North Business

Kate’s in Gladstone has a sibling, which already has a lot of fans

As Ronnie rings up a customer at his namesake restaurant, he can barely reach the register.

But give him time.

Ronnie is only 10 years old and still has some growing to do.

Ronnie’s parents, Dave and Kelly Hendrix, opened Ronnie’s Restaurant in late November, taking the 4,500-square-foot former Arris Pizza & Pub space at 12812 W. 87th St. Parkway in Lenexa.

Their 12-year-old daughter, Kate, got her namesake restaurant, Kate’s Kitchen at 8002 N. Oak Trafficway, in December 2008.

“We always said if we ever do another restaurant we would name it after Ronnie,” Dave Hendrix said. “They enjoy going to work but if you ask him, he enjoys playing baseball and she wants to be a pet doctor.”

The operations offer the same breakfast and lunch menu, served quickly in generous portions. They promise to-go orders will be ready in about 10 minutes.

Breakfast items include a variety of omelets including Down on the Bayou (with Scimeca’s Andouille sausage, peppers, onions and Jack cheese), The Brisket with smoked brisket, and Benedicts (crab cake, corned beef or Canadian bacon with spinach and tomatoes), Scramblers, French Toast, waffles and pancakes.

The locations also have sandwiches, including the popular Pick of the Litter Fritter (pork tenderloin hand-breaded and cooked to order), grilled salmon with a house-made chipotle sauce, and Danny’s Reuben (named after their nephew Danny).

The Reuben is made with corned beef from Boyle’s Famous Corned Beef Co. in Kansas City.

Along with the Pick of the Litter Fritter, other top orders are the cinnamon roll French toast drizzled with cream cheese icing and

Dave Hendrix said he would have the chicken fried chicken daily if he could but tries to pace out the order.

The restaurants also offer healthier items under “Fitness Corner” including Molly’s Heart Saver, an egg white omelet stuffed with grilled chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes, and named after their niece who had heart surgery in 2016.

During a packed lunch rush recently, Kate’s Kitchen customers were lined up to quickly pay as new customers took their spots. One server filled a to-go order while another recognized a customer by name “Just one, Joe?”

“It’s organized chaos. But they do a good job,” one waiting customer explained to another.

Ron said his Northland customers are now directing their Johnson County friends and family to the Lenexa location and some have made the trip themselves just to check it out.

While the menus are the same, Kate’s Kitchen has a “cafe” theme with pictures of cafes and a church pew in the waiting area. Ronnie’s Restaurant has a baseball/softball theme including artwork featuring the Kansas City Royals and Norman Rockwell baseball themes.

Breakfast/lunch operations are becoming the family’s tradition. Dave Hendrix’s father, Ron Hendrix, moved the family to Overland Park from Phoenix in 1986 to open area First Watch restaurants. Ron Hendrix had helped his parents and brother operate The Good Egg in the Phoenix area and some of their partners went on to later open other breakfast and lunch concepts in other cities.

“It was like a coaching tree. You have the head coach and all the assistants go on to do other things,” Dave said.

On the back of the Ronnie’s Restaurant/Kate’s Kitchen menu, the family put this verse from Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“For me, God has blessed our family, to be able to provide for them and to bless other people,” he said.

Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurants are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Easter.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC