New Project: Kansas City Vintage Signs

I need to credit my friend and local celebrity Dave from the Kansas City Lunch Spots for this idea – to collect or catalog the unique vintage signs that still can be found in many places around town. From the iconic sign atop the Western Auto Building to the vintage sign in front of Lobito’s Steakburger these historic relics are as important to the city as buildings, streets and parks. Unfortunately they are slowly disappearing from the landscape just like the famous White Haven Motor Lodge sign that used to welcome visitors to the old motel in Overland Park.

Dave writes:

Seriously, how great is it that this business chose to keep the original sign rather than tearing it down or covering it up with a modern one? It may have been purely a matter of cost, but it was also a good business decision because I will always stop at a lunch spot with a good old fashioned sign.

I don’t think even this awesome sign would make me want to stay at the Motel Capri on Admiral and Paseo, but the fact that it’s still standing calls for a show of respect.

And right across the street, who can forget the Admiral Motel.

I would like to collect as many of these as I can and I could use some help. I know where some of the vintage signs are and will try to take pictures of them as time permits, but I would appreciate if the readers submit in the comments or via email the locations or photos of the signs in the Kansas City Metro. Your photos and submissions will be credited to your blog, business,Twitter account, etc. and published as they come in.

And to make this interesting I just might give away a brand new KC Chiefs hoodie similar to this one to the submitter of the sign I like the best.

*please do not submit photos copyrighted by someone else.

  • I really like the sign for Heavelin (sp?) Beauty school on troost near 55th. There’s also a Flickr group “vintage signs of Kansas City” but I’m not sure how active it is these days.

  • Rhellman

    Check my facebook page and then my photo albums, Meesha, I went on a vintage-sign-photographing kick this summer, and lots of them give locations. I also have a slideshow up at

  • There’s a mexican restaurant with the original “Steak Burger” sign just north of 40 highway, on Blue Ridge Cutoff. I believe they actually have a steak-burger on the menu, due to the sign.  Across the street is a “Hi Boy” burger joint, which is pretty vintage.

    • It’s actually linked in the post to Dave’s blog. The place is called Lobito’s.

      • D’oh! I guess that’s what I get for not following the links. Incidentally, I understood they wanted to change the sign initially, but it was listed as some sort of minor historical landmark for the city of Independence. Full disclosure: I’m tangentially related to the owners.

        • If I had to pick my relatives, I’d pick the ones with a Mexican rerstaurant as well 🙂

  • Donna Wood

    Great idea!

  • Not sure if anyone mentioned this one at 17th and Broadway