One of the many charms of living in the Brookside/Waldo area are the locally owned shops and restaurants. Regular customers are greeted with a warm
welcome and a sincere desire to please. Newcomers are encouraged to return; their comments solicited. This is the atmosphere of Governor Stumpy’s at 321 E Gregory. And it’s all because of the owner/operator, Kevin Ryan.
Whenever I am driving potential homebuyers around the Brookside/Waldo neighborhoods, they always comment on how much they like the fact that residents can walk to various services. Governor Stumpy’s is perfectly situated on the corner of Gregory and Oak, within easy walking or biking distance from the nearby homes. I love to enjoy a meal on the outdoor deck during the warmer months. Plus, families with children are very comfortable here.
Kevin started out in the restaurant business working for Tippin’s. After working for years for someone else, he decided to open his own place in 1997. The Stumpy’s location was the site of the old Leonard’s restaurant. After an extensive renovation and opening with a more formal atmosphere–the place almost didn’t make it. Kevin soon learned the patrons wanted a casual restaurant, so he revamped the place to cater to what his customers wanted.
When you walk in Governor Stumpy’s, you get that “Cheers” (TV show) sort of feeling. Someone always says ‘hello’ and service is attentive. If you come in often, the staff will learn your name. You can sit at the bar and watch a game or strike up a conversation with the bartender. Slip into a comfortable booth and order from the reasonably priced food menu: pizza, pastas, appetizers, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Ryan says his best sellers include the baby back ribs, Posnanski’s Chicken Spedini Pasta and the Reuben.
Ryan lives in Lees Summit with his wife and three kids. He loves the restaurant and has worked very hard to make it a success. He’s thought about opening additional locations but doesn’t want to give up his current ‘quality of life’. Sometimes he works days, sometimes nights, and he can arrange his schedule to be around for family events, sports practices, homework, etc. If he had another restaurant it would cut into his family time too much. He’s quite comfortable with the way it all balances out right now.
What’s next for Governor Stumpy’s? Ryan has plans to enclose the deck this year and wants to bring back the Celtic Block Party he used to host annually over the Memorial Day weekend. He’s looking for a benefactor for that event. The menu still features a quarterly special series of food items that benefit a local charity (currently Big Brothers and Big Sisters). Ryan is also participating in the local Dancing with the Stars competition to benefit Cristo Rey High School. He’s been practicing with a professional dancer and hopes to raise the most money during the event on March 29. (You can vote early here, and watch a short promo video below.)
The next time you think ‘let’s go out and grab a bite to eat’ –think about stopping by Governor Stumpy’s. Thank you for supporting locally owned Brookside/Waldo businesses!