Pegah’s Family Restaurant to open in former Merriam IHOP, bringing back many IHOP employees

The building at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch was an IHOP for more than 50 years.
The building at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch was an IHOP for more than 50 years.

A location that had served as a casual family dining spot in Merriam for more than 50 years will return to that use next month.

Pegah’s Family Restaurant owner Moe Sharifi said he expects to be able to open his company’s fourth Johnson County location in early February in the former International House of Pancakes building at Antioch and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

“That was a restaurant for 50-some years, and people are used to that place,” Sharifi said of his decision to open a new Pegah’s in the space. “The visibility and traffic are great.”

And patrons of the new restaurant may recognize some familiar faces from the IHOP days. Sharifi said he’s hiring nearly 90 percent of the former IHOP staff to work at the new Pegah’s. Cooks and servers are currently in training at the other Pegah’s locations.

“Some of them were working there for 20 years, so they want to be back at that place,” he said.

Pegah’s is known for straightforward home-cooked fare, from a variety of omelet and scrambles on its breakfast menu, to traditional soups and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. Pegah’s also features hearty homestyle platters, dishes like meatloaf, country fried steak and chicken parmesan.

Sharifi said that as part of the restaurant’s 30th anniversary celebration — its first location opened in 1987 — patrons who mention the anniversary can receive 30 percent off their ticket.

The Merriam location will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The facility is currently getting an interior and exterior remodel.

The IHOP shut down in September. The current building on the site was completed in 1971, replacing another restaurant building. Block & Co. announced earlier this month it has plans for a new mixed-use development on the adjacent site that houses the closed K-Mart.