Kevin “Skitch” Allen purchased Aunt Toadie’s Restaurant in October but officially took over the business on Dec. 12, 2022.
“My heart is on the east side of town,” he said.
Allen started his construction business and car wash on the east side of Fort Scott. Nineteen years ago he demolished a house on the west side of the Aunt Toadie’s restaurant property for the former owners Larry and Mary Jane McHenry.
That started a relationship with the McHenrys. Then two years ago he started dating their niece Alisha Jamison.
“One evening we were talking to Mary Jane and Larry and discovered they wanted to work less hours,” Allen said. “Alisha and I talked about it. She was interested in running the eating business and I am interested in eating.”
“I’ve never owned a restaurant before,” he said. But the McHenry’s have stayed on to help the transition until the end of December.
“Thankfully, Larry and Mary Jane made it a success,” he said. “It’s one more way to help out on my side of town.”
Allen has been doing work on the outside of the restaurant on East Wall since purchasing it.
The west side of the building will have an addition, which will double the size of the eating area.
“It will be called the Lily Pad,” he said. “That will be for people who enjoy watching (sport) games on TV. Possibly with beer, in the future with dining.”
Possible futuristic plans are a pickle ball court to the north of this new addition, he said.
“You’ll be able to walk out to a pickle ball court,” he said. “Playing off the idea of chicken and pickle ball.”
On the east side of the restaurant there will be table and chairs for an outdoor eating area in warmer weather.
Inside, he has purchased a new soft-serve ice cream machine and discovered an old milk shake machine which will be put to use once again.
“We plugged it in and it went,” Allen said.
Alisha Jamison is the new manager and they are keeping the current wait staff. Matt McHenry, Larry and Mary Jane’s son, has decided to stay as cook.
“That’s a blessing,” he said. “He has worked there since he was a child.”
“I’m the taste tester,” Allen said.
The hours and menu will remain the same, but there might be additional hours on Monday and Saturday in the future.
There may be some additions to the menu because “we’ve got some good cooks thinking up ideas,” he said.
“I want to thank the McHenry’s for allowing us to take over their family business,” Allen said. “We are going to work hard to keep the family food atmosphere.”
“And thanks also to Fort Scott customers for the years of patronage, we know they won’t be disappointed,” he said.