By Sara Wiercinski
RC’s Restaurant, longtime favorite for fried chicken and meals served family style, has new owners with big plans. In early March restaurateurs Somack and Rob Paxton purchased RC’s from David Van Noy, whose family has been running the restaurant since 1973.
“We are careful to honor the special legacy David and his family built for the past 50 years,” said Somack. “I told him, ‘I want to keep all of the family photos, the memories, everything.’”
Rob and Somack will keep the first floor of RC’s feeling as it has for decades, with a few updates.
“I bought aluminum trays and new serving dishes to crisp up the feel, a mix of modern and old styles. Everything we serve will be top quality, and I want to offer larger steak portions.”
The Paxtons purchased their first Kansas City-area restaurant, Thai House (9938 Holmes Road) in January 2022. They also own restaurants in Bentonville, Little Rock, Branson and Chicago, and manage most of their restaurants remotely “with the help of great teams at each site,” said Somack.
Rob and Somack plan to eventually turn the second floor of RC’s, formerly an event space, into a Thai restaurant.
“It’s always been my dream to have Thai and American food together,” said Somack. “I love to eat at American diners, special places like this.’”
They are improving the space, ordering equipment and selecting a team of chefs. If all things come together, she hopes to open the Thai restaurant in a couple of months.
The original RC’s Restaurant, named for founder Raymond Charles Van Noy, Jr. –“RC” for short–was located at 200 E. 135th Street, what is now KC Running Company. David Van Noy and his brothers, Mike and Chuck, began working in the restaurant when they were children.
When the older RC became sole owner of Jess & Jim’s Steakhouse down the street, his sons took over the fried chicken business. In 1982 they moved the restaurant to its current location (330 E. 135th Street), a distinct two-story building that is uniquely downtown Martin City.
In 2018, the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association named David and his brother Mike restaurateurs of the year.
David will retire from the restaurant business.
RC’s is a family-run restaurant with commitment to the community, and Somack’s plans for the Thai space reflect those same values.
“There will be a kids-eat-free night, or $2.50 kid carry-out meals. I want to help those on a fixed income, the single parents, to include them. Sure, you have to make money for the business, but this is about giving back to society.”
For more information about RC’s Restaurant, or to order take out, visit www.rcschicken.com.