Kansas City, MO

History of Stroud's Oak Ridge Manor Restaurant & Bar in the Northland, Kansas City, Missouri

CJ Coombs

Photo by Shardar Tarikul Islam on Unsplash.

The first time I dined at Stroud's north of the river in Clay County, Kansas City, Missouri was probably over 30 years ago. Stroud's, which is considered a local chain, met all my expectations. It was like sitting down and having a home-cooked meal. Best rolls, best fried chicken, and who doesn't love their side of green beans? The service was always great in my experience and seeing crowds waiting for seats was a sign I wasn't the only customer who felt this place was crowded for a reason.

Most who have been to this restaurant scan the menu and probably order the same meal. And how many times have you read the history summary on the back of the menu telling you about the beginning of Stroud's?

Known as The Home of Pan Fried Chicken stirs up all kinds of memories. Stroud's in the Northland is located at 5410 NE Oak Ridge Drive off of Vivian Road in Kansas City, Missouri. There are two other locations in Overland Park, and Wichita, Kansas including a catering facility also in Overland Park.

Pan after pan of chicken waits for you!Image by Stroud's North via Facebook.


In 1829, homesteader David Hale built a two-room log cabin. In 1844, it was purchased by Dr. James Howard Compton who expanded the log cabin into a 10-room house. What's so unique about this location is that you're standing in the original cabin where you wait in the foyer. This venue has become one of the most popular and historical places for that fried chicken meal and it's pure joy when all the food arrives at your table.

Up until 1954, the home was lived in by a Compton family member. In that same year, Darwin and Louise Sandstrom purchased the home and turned it into a restaurant. It served German-American food and was named Sandy's Oak Ridge Manor.

This wasn't the first Stroud's to open though.

Freshly baked cinnamon rolls every day.Image by Stroud's North via Facebook.

Guy and Helen Stroud started out in the restaurant business by serving barbecue at the now-closed 85th and Troost location in Kansas City. The first time I entered that restaurant and walked across the wooden floor, I felt like I was stepping back in time.

The road house remained a BBQ restaurant until World War II. During the war, because beef was being rationed, Helen Stroud started serving pan-fried chicken. The original chicken dinner was only $.35! (Source.)

This original roadhouse location at 85th and Troost was purchased by Mike Donegan and Jim Hogan in 1977, and which location was closed in 2006 due to eminent domain (85th Street was being widened). The stiff and creaky floors made this location priceless.

Mike and Jim were a couple of bartenders from Kelly's Westport Inn. Six years later, Mike and his twin brother, Dennis, along with Jim Hogan bought Oak Ridge Manor. In 1978, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1980, it was listed with the Kansas City Register of Historic Places as Dr. James Compton Residence.

Stroud's received the following awards and accolades:

  • James Beard Award for Excellence
  • Zagat Award for Best Restaurant
  • Appearance on the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food
  • Appearance on the Travel Channel's No Reservations
  • Appearance on Food Network’sThe Best Thing I Ever Ate
  • KCPT’s Check Please
Stroud’s has also been featured in several national and international publications. The Wall Street Journal, Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times, People Magazine, Esquire, Bon Apetite! and Playboy Magazine, to name a few. (Source.)

Comfort food

Occasionally, we all need comfort food. Who wants to cook comfort food at home? According to Trip Advisor, Fried Catfish and Chicken are Highlighted at Stroud's Oak Ridge Manor in Kansas City, MO (Source.)

Stroud's is also known for its chicken noodle soup. I did locate a recipe online with a sidenote that indicated it was published in The Kansas City Star in 1980. Click here for that recipe.

Chicken noodle soup by Stroud's.Image by Stroud's North via Facebook.

In 2000, Jim sold his share of the restaurant. In 2004, Dennis passed away at age of 55 after a long battle with cancer. In 2021, Mike passed away at age 72. Their legacy lives on.

If you've never been to Stroud's Oak Ridge Manor and want to check out the menu, click here.

Thank you for reading. If you frequent Stroud's, let me know what you think!

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Multi-genre writer and indie author; 30 years of legal secretarial experience; BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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