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Kansas City's Iconic Winstead's Steakburgers Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Flickr user Dblackwood
The iconic chain's three locations remain open.

Writer Calvin Trillin said he was 14 when he "made a firm decision about where the best hamburger in the world was." And, for the Kansas City native, it was Winstead's Steakburgers. 

Now, the iconic hamburger chain has filed for bankruptcy, although its three stores remain open.

On Feb. 24, Winstead's Company sought Chapter 11 protection, listing nearly $1.5 million in debts and $65,000 in assets. 

The company listed about 60 creditors, including gas, phone and electric utilities, as well as meat, dairy and other food suppliers. The company also owes more than $18,000 in taxes to the Kansas Department of Revenue and $146,000 to the Missouri Department of Revenue. 

It also listed two legal actions brought within the last year by landlords seeking back rent. 

Haddad Restaurant Group Inc., which operates Winstead's, also filed for bankruptcy in February. The company operated the Fred P. Otts restaurants in Overland Park and on the Country Club Plaza, both of which closed last year. 

Winstead's, known for its signature Skyscrapers — sodas with ice cream scoops that serve up to six people — and its freshly ground steakburgers opened its first Kansas City location in 1940. The site, with its distinctive art deco spire, is just east of the Country Club Plaza. 

Nabil Haddad purchased the restaurant in 1988, when the chain had about a dozen locations in the Kansas City metro area and in Illinois and Indiana. But the company has pared down in recent years to just three locations: 4971 W. 135th Street in Leawood; 10711 Roe in Overland Park, Kansas; and the original location at 101 Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.

The bankruptcy documents show that Winstead's posted revenues of $8.25 million in 2018, slipping to about $6.3 million last year. 

Officials of Haddad Restaurant Group could not be reached for comment. 

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can follow her on Twitter at @lauraspencer.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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