Merriam IHOP closes its doors after 55 years in business

MERRIAM, Kan. -- A restaurant considered a local staple for 55 years closed its doors on Sunday. The IHOP along Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road in Merriam opened in 1961.

"We have seen so many births, weddings and funerals through our customers. It really is a different environment. And more than us losing our jobs, our community is losing a place to go," said Assistant General Manager Kara Nerio.

Kristi Bliss started working at IHOP back in 1995. For the last 21 years, she said the restaurant has felt like family.

"I've made a lot of family here. It's all family, no friends. It's all family in the store," said Bliss.

The IHOP closed its doors at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The property owners plan to visit the property this week to discuss the future of the area.