Hays House 1857
Restaurant and Tavern

112 West Main
Council Grove, Kansas  66846
(620) 767-5911
Open Tuesday through Sunday

Hays House Map   Hays House Menu

Nominated for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine

Council Grove Kaw Mission   Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park
Unique Kansas Restaurants

Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern - Council Grove, Kansas
Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern
Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern on Main Street in Council Grove, Kansas.

Seth M. Hays, a grandson of Daniel Boone, was the first white settler in Council Grove in 1847. In 1857 he opened the Hays House Tavern and Restaurant. Today, Hays House is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River. Its customers have included Jesse James and George Armstrong Custer.

The ownership and management at Hays House has changed a number of times over the years and the building was restored in the 1970s. In December 2011, there was a fire in the restaurant and the kitchen (which was in an addition to the historic structure) was completely destroyed. The restaurant might not have reopened, but 25 local residents pooled their money, formed Flint Hills Investors, bought the Hays House and reopened with the same menu in May 2012. The exterior of the historic restaurant was significant redone with a new look in 2015.

Hays House serves mostly country food with generous servings. House specialties include skillet fried chicken, crunch chicken salad, bone-in Beulah's Ham, prime rib, and great pies. I recommend the chicken fried steak and the ribeye. The ribeye is tender enough to cut with a fork and was cooked exactly as ordered.

Ultimately Hays House is primarily about the tradition and the unique setting.

Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern main dining room.
Main dining room.

Ribeye steak at Hays House in Council Grove, Kansas
Ribeye steak and Brussels sprouts

Hotbeef sandwich - Hays House Restaurant
Onion straw appetizer with hot beef special and iced tea.

Chicken fried steak - Hays House restaurant
Chicken fried steak and fresh cut shoestring potatoes

Hays House cellar dining room.
The Hays House cellar still has the original meat hooks and the original bar. For many years this area was
used church services on Sunday mornings, using the piano at the far right. This space has great acoustics.

Hays House  prior to renovation
Hays House in 2012, prior to renovation in 2015

Hays House Menu - Council Grove, Kansas
Hays House menu from January 2016

Hays House Map - Council Grove, Map
Hays House 1857 Map

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