Lion’s Choice coming to former Winstead’s site at 103rd and Metcalf

The former Winstead’s at Metcalf 103 Shopping Center is on its way to becoming a Lion’s Choice. The Overland Park Planning Commission gave its approval this week to a plan to build a new drive-thru on the site of the former hamburger and shake restaurant.

Photo credit Lion’s Choice.

Lion’s Choice is a St. Louis-based quick serve restaurant featuring roast beef sandwiches. It was founded in 1967 and has been expanding in the Kansas City area recently. New locations recently opened in Olathe and Independence.

Putting a 2,500-square-foot Lion’s Choice on the southeast corner of 103rd Street and Metcalf Avenue was a straightforward swap that the commission approved with little discussion. The new restaurant will be smaller than the existing Winstead’s, which was 4,860 square feet, and it will be built closer to Metcalf. But it is expected to generate less average daily traffic than Winstead’s, according to city documents.

Winstead’s white tile eateries have been a Kansas City icon for 75 years and received high praise from food critic Calvin Trillin. But their numbers have shrunk in the past few years. The company’s website still lists restaurants in Leawood, Lenexa and 107th Street and Roe Avenue in Overland Park, as well as the Plaza site.

The Metcalf 103 Shopping Center location closed in 2015. Additional locations in Merriam and downtown Overland Park closed in 2017.

Last month, the Lenexa Planning Commission approved plans to demolish the Winstead’s building on 95th Street and replace it with a new Raising Cane’s location. If the Lenexa Winstead’s closes, the Overland Park location near I-435 will be the last remaining spot for the eatery in the Shawnee Mission area.