IHOP has made a return to the city of Merriam with a new restaurant that opened yesterday at Merriam Town Center.
For decades, IHOP had a location at Antioch and Shawnee Mission Parkway; that restaurant closed in September 2016 and was replaced by a Pegah’s Family Restaurant.
The location for the new IHOP, 5870 Antioch Road, was previously occupied by a Bob Evans Restaurant. Assistant general manager Sheena Mitchell, who has worked for IHOP since 2001, said the staff is “very excited” about the new location opening and getting to know the neighborhood.
“We’ve had a lot of feedback that people who live in the area are very excited because they’ve been waiting for a while for a breakfast restaurant to come back over here,” Mitchell said. “We’re excited to get to know those people and build relationships with our guests. We want to know their names and make them feel like this is their IHOP.”
Tuesday’s soft opening was “perfect,” said general manager Imad Elqadi. A grand opening event is in the works as well, but the date is not set yet.
Elqadi, who has worked for IHOP since 1999, said the new location in Merriam Town Center has 4,700 square feet of space, more than twice the size of the old spot at Antioch and Shawnee Mission Parkway. The new space has more comfortable furniture, more room for customers’ convenience, a modern, up-to-date design and a closed-off kitchen space.
“We’d like our customers to come hungry and leave happy; that’s what we want,” Elqadi said.
IHOP in Merriam Town Center has nearly 100 employees on staff, but they’re still hiring, “no matter what,” Elqadi added.