Abilene, Kan.’s iconic Brookville Lodge restaurant just lately reopened softly beneath new possession and a brand new title: Legacy Kansas.
Clients can nonetheless order the unique restaurant’s “world-famous” family-style fried rooster dinners and sides together with coleslaw, biscuits & gravy, mashed potatoes, and creamed corn, however now they’ll additionally order a extremely marbled nation fried steak from the brand new house owners’ century-old Munson Angus Farms.
Rooster dinners on the Brookville Lodge grew to become legendary as cattle traveled alongside the Chisholm Path, which after the Civil Warfare related Texas ranches to Kansas Metropolis railheads. The restaurant moved to its present location in 1999 after the house owners replicated the unique façade and eating rooms. After it closed in 2020, the Munson household spent a yr negotiating its buy from fourth-generation house owners Mark and Connie Martin.
Right this moment, retired Kansas State College professor Deanna Munson is almost all proprietor. She and her husband Chuck personal greater than 90% of the enterprise and he nonetheless oversees their farm, which makes a speciality of premium Angus beef. Their son David is a 3rd proprietor who manages advertising and marketing and public relations.
The Munsons had earlier restaurant expertise from working their Munson’s Prime Restaurant in Junction Metropolis, Kan., which burned down final yr, seven years after it opened. They discovered lots from that have.
“We didn’t take a phased strategy with [opening] Munson’s Prime,” Deanna Munson mentioned. “As an alternative, everyone got here that first month, as a result of they knew about Munson’s beef. It was a catastrophe. There isn’t a approach we’d have opened one other restaurant if Brookville wasn’t obtainable. It’s the one factor that made us even take into account a brand new restaurant.”
This time, the household’s phased roll-out started in July with reservations solely, and a median per-person test of $23.
“[This phased rollout is] creating sanity,” Munson mentioned. “We’re getting very optimistic responses to our meals high quality and repair for the variety of employees that we’re capable of rent.”
The Munsons have additionally obtained helpful enter from considered one of Deanna’s earlier KSU colleagues, Mary Molt, who, along with instructing meals manufacturing administration, additionally runs eating operations on the college.
Molt gave the Munsons a replica of her e-book, Meals for 50, revealed by Pearson Schooling, which is about cooking for big teams. She additionally supplied enter on kitchen structure to accommodate environment friendly preparation of each the fried rooster and steaks, and helped in recipe improvement too.
The earlier restaurant had an enormous, very properly put-together kitchen, Deanna Munson mentioned. However the brand new house owners have added a convection oven and a custom-made wood-burning grill, and a brand new ice cream maker will quickly prove Deanna’s grandmother’s recipe.
The 17,000-square-foot Legacy Kansas will ultimately accommodate 225 friends together with high-top bar seating and a full bar.
As Legacy Kansas evolves, extra award-winning beef will seem on the menu, together with grilled steaks priced round $35 to $40, and half-pound burgers with fries for round $12.
“Proper now, we course of the entire animal, whereas reducing steaks and brisket and grinding the remainder into burger meat,” Deanna Munson mentioned. “We’ll use [our beef] in a more practical approach as issues progress, with smoked brisket and different cuts for particular occasions and group gatherings.”