After 34 years, Johnson County Applebee’s closes. ‘Thanks for being our neighbor’

Yet another Johnson County Applebee’s Grill and Bar has closed.

The Lenexa restaurant at 12242 W 95th St. (near Oak Park Mall) had been open for 34 years. Signs on its front doors declare the space “PERMANENTLY CLOSED.”

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The restaurant closed last week, Carrie Hellyer, an area director of Applebee’s, told The Star. Hellyer said the lease had expired but did not answer why the landlord decided not to renew it.

“Thank you for being our neighbor for the last 34 years,” the sign reads. Customers are directed to visit nearby restaurants: 11000 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, 16110 W. 135th St. in Olathe and 6800 Johnson Drive in Mission.

In May, a Shawnee location at 11500 W. 63rd St. closed after 33 years.

Signs were posted outside the Lenexa Applebee’s Tuesday. Jenna Thompson/

Signs were posted outside the Lenexa Applebee’s Tuesday. Jenna Thompson/

The chain is known for its half-price appetizers and wings, as well as ribs, chicken, seafood, salads, burgers and sandwiches.

The first Applebee’s franchise location opened in Kansas City in 1986. By 1989, Applebee’s International Inc. was headquartered in the Kansas City area and had opened its 100th restaurant. That number eventually grew to more than 2,000 restaurants nationwide before the company moved its headquarters to California in 2015. It is now owned by Dine Brands.

In 2000, Applebee’s had at least two dozen restaurants in the Kansas City metro. Today, the chain’s website lists fewer than one dozen in the area.

In 2022, The Star reported on a leaked email from a mid-level Applebee’s franchisee executive urging the company to lower workers’ pay. At the time, a spokesman said that statement did not reflect the values of the company, which owned more than 100 Applebee’s and Taco Bell restaurants in the Midwest.

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