Our    Story

Owners standing in front of restaurant
The Roost logo painted on the front window
photo of baristas behind the bar

What We Do 

The Roost is a breakfast and lunch restaurant in the heart of downtown Lawrence, Kansas. We offer a warm, clean, and hospitable environment where groups and individuals can gather, settle in and belong. We believe food is an essential building block of family, friendship, and culture. We delight in consistently creating quality breakfast, lunch, pastries, and beverages with extra attention to detail.  Our knowledgeable staff members are excited to welcome you into our neighborly culture. 

Who We Are

Working at this location's previous business for 11 years, Manda Jolly met her husband Sean and honed in on her dreams of opening a restaurant. As this vision grew, it expanded to include the talents of dear friends and co-workers. The Roost was founded in July 2013 by Manda Jolly (managing front of house, coffee bar, and customer relations), Sean Jolly (Head chef and kitchen manager) and Ken Pingleton (managing front of house and the bar). This lively crew is a well-oiled machine with decades of experience in the restaurant industry. The owners also strive to create an unbeatable place to work for their employees and has hired some top talent. Larissa Wilson, pastry chef and bakery manager, brings to life beautiful and delicious creations everyday. Sous chef, Daniel Mauga, teams up with Jolly to facilitate a highly-trained kitchen that turns out consistently delightful breakfast and lunch.  

Frank Kinter at The Roost farm

Our History

The Roost is named after our family farm in western Kansas. The farm was timber-claimed by owner Manda Jolly's great-great-grandfather, Frank Kinter, in 1873. The farm's strong Kansas work ethic and determination inspired the values that drive our restaurant.

Our Renovation

Although the space was previously occupied by a restaurant there was a lot of work needed to bring the space up to code. We underwent an ambitious renovation project in the Winter/Spring of 2013. The construction included updates to the electrical, plumbing, ventilation, and even converting some kitchen space into a lounge for extra seating. During this process we were also able to give the building some love with a full revamp of interior design inspired by old grocers and hardware stores. We stripped many elements in the space down to their raw and historic roots. However, the best part of our renovation story is the outpouring of love and support that we received during the process. We had many materials donated from members of the community, and also had incredible support through our kickstarter campaign. 

Our Kickstarter Campaign

Kickstarter is an online crowd-funding platforms that allows anyone to contribute to a cause or project they are interested in. We launched a kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of our renovation, in particular to fund the completely new ventilation system that we needed in order to bring the restaurant up to code. Our goal was to reach $20,000, but we were blown away when members of our community (near and far) pledged $25,198 to help us get the doors open. To our kickstarter backers, we could not have done this without you.

Thank you so much for your support in helping make The Roost (and our dreams) a reality! 

Want to work at The Roost? Apply here.