The owner of a Johnson County antique shop is bringing a new combo antique shop and dumpling restaurant to south Leawood, where a Winstead’s diner previously operated.
Driving the news: At its Monday meeting, the Leawood City Council unanimously approved preliminary and final plans for Rakar Dumpling House, a combined dumpling restaurant and furniture store at 135th and Briar.
- The new eatery could open as soon as January, according to owners.
📣 New to the Post?
We’re the only local news outlet with eyes everyday on Johnson County. Subscribe and you’ll get stories like this one and much more in your inbox each day.
You can try a month of full access to both our sites for just $1 here.
Where exactly: The new Rakar Dumpling House will occupy an existing building at 4971 West 135th St. that used to be a franchise of the iconic Kansas City area diner chain Winstead’s.
- The building sits on the northeast corner of the Cornerstone of Leawood retail shops off 135th Street and Nall Avenue.
- That site neighbors the Parkway Plaza shopping center across 135th Street and the Prairiefire mixed-use development across Nall.
The details: The plan approved by the city council includes exterior changes, in addition to a special use permit allowing the restaurant to utilize a drive-thru.
- The site plan includes 47 seats for dining and a 3,966-square foot retail space, along with 61 parking spaces.
- The building will also be painted tan and white before the restaurant opens — replacing the distinctive white, neon blue and pink exterior common to Winstead’s.
Key quote: “No disrespect to Winstead’s, but we want to make it look a little less Winstead-y,” said Jennifer Martin, architect on the project. “It’s a kind of an iconic look with the white tiles, and again, it has its place, but this is a very different type of business.”
Zooming out: Co-owner Jim Zhang also owns Rakar Inc., a Leawood store that offers furniture and home décor.
- Rakar Inc. has been open for more than 20 years, and Rakar Dumpling House will feature a retail component where customers can find some of the antiques and décor items that they’d find at the original furniture store.
- On the dining side, co-owner Catherine Kot said some of the non-dumpling items on the restaurant’s menu will include egg rolls, fried rice and noodle dishes.
- Kot’s family has owned and operated Overland Park’s Dragon Inn for almost 50 years.