The legendary Madonna proved at last night's Super Bowl XLVI half-time show that one really can look young, limber and sexy at age 53. Not so true, alas, of the two KC-area Waid's restaurants. In fact, the Prairie Village Shopping Center location at 6920 Mission — which appears to have been last redecorated back when Madonna's debut album was released — has such an air of shabby sadness to it that I'm starting to wonder if this old-fashioned diner has much of a future. After all, two stylish new restaurant operations — Tavern in the Village and Story — opened in Prairie Village Shopping Center last year. Hasn't the badly dated Waid's become almost an anachronism for the shopping district?
"We're on a month-to-month lease," whispered one of the servers to me on a recent visit to the restaurant. "We're really only busy anymore on Saturday and Sunday mornings."
The Waid's restaurants — once a popular locally owned chain of modestly priced casual restaurants — date back to 1953. They have been owned, since the 1980s, by the Haddad Restaurant Group. The clientele has skewed older — really older — for years: "Anyone over 60 years and older gets a 10 percent discount on their bill," boasts the cashier at the Prairie Village location.
That would explain some of the more vintage offerings on the menu, like liver and onions and salmon croquettes — and a custard cup for dessert. It's Applebee's for the Depends crowd. I can't help but wonder what might happen to the Prairie Village Waid's in the near future.
"We don't comment on our current tenants," says Tripp Ross of Lane 4, the leasing agent for the Prairie Village Shopping Center. "We also don't tell them how to maintain their property."
Let's just say it's not aging as well as Madonna.