FAIRWAY, Kan. — They’ve been in business since 1933 when Stroud’s opened as a barbecue restaurant. Nine years later Helen Stroud decided to shift the menu and focus on fried chicken instead. Stroud’s has been popular ever since.
Thursday was a big occasion at the Stroud’s off Shawnee Mission Parkway as it was the restaurant’s 80th birthday. The restaurant in Fairway as well as its other two locations have become Midwestern destinations for food lovers and it’s been featured many times on the Food Network.
Owner Mike Donegan and his staff are known for their pan-fried chicken, which has been made the same way for 80 years.
“Stroud’s belongs in Kansas City. Stroud’s has always been a local restaurant. It’s hard to go ‘cookie-cutter’ on these kinds of restaurants. There’s too many personalities involved,” Donegan said.
Donegan said he’s watched several generations of Kansas City families come to his tables. Most of Stroud’s restaurant is decorated with autographs and photos from the famous people who’ve eaten here.
Donegan said he never intended to buy into the restaurant business. In 1977, he was working as a bartender in Westport when he took a chance on the restaurant. The decision has worked out fine ever since.