KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Michael Donegan, owner of Kansas City’s famous Stroud’s restaurant, has died at the age of 72.
Donegan’s cousin Connor Duncan posted on Facebook Monday morning that he passed away Sunday.
“If I could sum him up in one word, it’s ‘giving,’” Duncan said.
According to its website, Stroud’s started as a BBQ restaurant until World War II by Guy and Helen Stroud because beef was being rationed. Nine years later, Helen Stroud decided to shift the menu and focus on fried chicken instead. Stroud’s has been popular ever since.
In 1977, Donegan and Jim Hogan, two bartenders at Kelly’s Westport Inn, purchased Stroud’s.
Along with his twin brother Dennis, Donegan and Jim Hogan, opened Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor in 1983. Dennis passed away in June 2004 at the age of 55 after a 3 1/2 year battle with cancer.
Donegan graduated from Warrensburg in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration.
In a 2013 FOX4 interview, 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.
“I feel so fortunate to not only have known him but to be able to call him family,” Duncan said. “I will forever miss his warm and welcoming personality. Also the jokes and stories. He was never short on those.”