Papa Keno’s new owner is Kauffman Center’s executive chef

Philippe Lechevin, who has been the executive chef at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts since its opening in 2011, purchased the Overland Park location of the Kansas-based Papa Keno’s Pizzeria at 7901 Santa Fe Drive in downtown Overland Park last May. He says he hasn’t changed any of the recipes but has improved on all the ingredients for the pies sold at the downtown Overland Park location.

But more changes are on the way.

Lechevin – a native of Vittel, France – plans to continue to helm the culinary services at the Kauffman (which dropped its contract with Aramark last year) until later this year. Lechevin’s business partner, Steve Robson, a former Kauffman Center employee, has been the on-site manager of the local Papa Keno’s for the last two weeks. Lechevin and Robson purchased the Overland Park pizzeria from franchise owner Brandon Graham, the 2002 University of Kansas graduate who retains the Lawrence restaurant. Graham, who is opening a Papa Keno’s in Topeka later this month, is also the owner of Jefferson’s Restaurant in Lawrence.

Lechevin plans to introduce breakfast items to Papa Keno’s later this spring.

“We’re so close to the Overland Park Farmers Market.” he says. “We feel we can not only attract breakfast customers but use the fresh produce from the market for our products.”

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink