Local bar and grill Strip’s Chicken expands with new Lenexa location

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A local chicken joint is expanding in Johnson County — amidst a rebranding of one of its existing locations.

After opening its newest location in downtown Merriam, Strip’s Chicken now has another new location in the works in Lenexa.

The Merriam location, formerly Strip’s Chicken & Dive Bar, also officially reopened last week as Strip’s Chicken & Brewing — a change that brings a new focus on beer.

Shawnee Strip's Chicken
Photo via Strip’s Chicken Facebook page.

The Lenexa location will open later this summer

Todd Johnson, owner of Strip’s Chicken, said the new Lenexa location — for which he is not yet ready to announce the address — will likely open in July.

Once it opens, the Lenexa location will operate from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Johnson said the Lenexa location will serve the same “fresh, never frozen” chicken tenders, sandwiches and scratch-made side dishes that Strip’s has become known for — as well as some new items like smoked baby back ribs and homemade pasta dishes.

A Lenexa resident himself, Johnson said he was not necessarily actively looking to open another Strip’s location — but it sort of just fell into place.

“The owner (of the building) approached me and made me a really good deal that I couldn’t pass up, so we kind of jumped into that,” he said.

Strip’s Chicken has new beer offerings

Johnson said that from his time operating his own microbrewery and serving his own beers at the Merriam location, he gathered that there was a local demand for “unique” beers.

This inspired him to shift the Merriam location away from the dive bar concept, undergoing renovations and adding new beers.

Some of those include the “Flamingo cranberry lemonade” sour beer, the “Allis D-15” peach wheat beer, and the “Gunslinger” beer — which serves as a tribute to Johnson’s family and their affinity for hunting.

“I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “We have eight of the nine beers that we have (new) contracts for on tap now, and they’ve gone over really well.”

Johnson is also currently working on new drink menus that tie each drink to a personal anecdote from Strip’s Chicken’s history as well as his family’s history.

“Anyone that follows my Facebook page or the Facebook page for Strip’s knows I like to tell stories,” he said. “It’s going to be really interesting to have a page for each beer and have a story that goes along with it. I think people will enjoy that.”

The Lenexa location, he said, will closely follow suit with the brewery concept — in terms of both menu and interior design.

“They’ll be identical, basically,” he said. “They’re set up very similarly, with a deck and everything, so it works out well.”

The Lenexa location marks the third JoCo shop for Strip’s Chicken

The original Strip’s Chicken opened in Olathe in 2016. Johnson opened the second Johnson County location in downtown Merriam location last fall.

Strip’s Chicken also previously had a location in Kansas City, Missouri’s Waldo neighborhood — but that location closed at the beginning of May.

Even with that recent closure, Johnson said the expansion of his business serves as an exciting opportunity to try new things.

“We’ve got some really unique things that we’re doing,” he said. “We’re able to tap into some of the things that (local breweries) are doing well and then try to make it even better.”

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About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.