For as long as I can remember, the cigar-shaped building located at 121 N Main in downtown WaKeeney has been a place with a mysterious past. Its antique freight elevator, pressed-tin ceiling, and the sealed trap door* in the floor; all those things created a storyline for me of our town’s rough and tumble beginnings on America’s Great Plains.
The building has gone through several reinventions since it first opened in 1925 as the J.J. Keraus and Sons Hardware store. In 1998, restoration on the building’s interior turned it into a restaurant called the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill and current owners, Kenny and Lien Quan, intend to keep the spirit of the wild west alive and well in it’s design, décor, and the delicious dishes they serve six days a week.
From the moment the screen door slams shut behind you and your feet scrape across the timeworn floorboards you’ll know that what you are about to experience is authentic to this Western town. And, when you bite into their extensive menu you’ll understand why the Saloon is a favorite to so many people who live in and visit Trego County. Start off with the beer battered mushrooms, then fill up on a burger or steak with all the fixin’s, but save room for dessert. Lien’s crafted a crème brulee that even the toughest hombre can’t resist.
Next time you’re in town take a trip down Main and make a stop at the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill, where you’ll find great food, fun times, and a trip back to WaKeeney’s past served up with a smile.
*Subscribe to the WaKeeney Travel Blog to catch a later post about the Western Kansas Saloon’s mysterious trap door!