Here’s the plan for the old Leawood Winstead’s on 135th

Leawood Rakar Dumpling House

The site of the now-defunct Winstead's at 135th and Nall. File photo.

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.

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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.
Leawood Rakar Dumpling House
Above, an aerial map of where the site of the future restaurant is, outlined in blue. Map from city documents.

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.