Steak ‘n Shake nears completion

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

After several weather delays, Winchester’s Steak ‘n Shake will open near the end of April.

Franchisee Ryan Dotson said the store, which is located on Lexington Avenue next to O’Reilly Auto Parts and across from Ron Hatfield Chrysler Dodge Jeep’s used car lot, is just waiting on the blacktop. Plans to blacktop were continually delayed due to winter weather. However, he said he expects to blacktop within the next two weeks which would mean a potential open date of either April 23 or April 30.

Dotson said he has over 60 employees and management is still accepting applications. Applications are available at

Email newsletter signup

Dotson told the Sun in February the original opening day was April 2, but the weather delayed the opening. The weather has delayed hopeful opening dates, pushing it from February or March to April.

“Once you set a date, everything changes,” Dotson said about the delays.

The franchisee broke ground on the project in October.

While Dotson told the Sun in August he hoped to begin construction in September; the project saw some minor delays pushing the start date to October.

At first, the restaurant will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, although Dotson hopes to add breakfast and late-night hours once the staff is trained.

The Winchester location features a brand new prototype design, led by architect Jay Million of Million Architecture.

Million Architecture has built the First Baptist Church Addition and the Winchester Retirement Place as well as several other projects across the region.

It will seat about 84 diners.

“It looks so different from the traditional Steak ‘n Shakes,” Dotson said. “It’s more retro, has an edgy feel.”

Dotson’s Mount Sterling was also a new prototype at the time of its completion.

Dotson told the Sun when he initially became a franchisee, his goal was to bring the diner chain to Winchester, but corporate officials were concerned about its closeness to its Lexington location in the Hamburg shopping center.

Dotson said he knew many Winchester residents would dine at the Hamburg location, but Winchester needed its own Steak ‘n Shake location.

However, the restaurant chain later offered Dotson a contract for three locations, guaranteeing Winchester would be the second location if he first opened one in Mt. Sterling.

Dotson built and opened the Mt. Sterling location last year and said he is looking to open a third location in either Morehead, Nicholasville, the Cincinnati airport or Lexington on Harrodsburg Road.

Dotson said everything he has done he did so to open the Winchester location.

“This has been a long time coming,” Dotson said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0015.

email author More by Lashana