Smolan High School District Number Four - The Hickory Tree Restaurant
This is an archive page - the Hickory Tree Restaurant closed in 2011.
The Hickory Tree Restaurant in Smolan, Kansas is a unique Kansas Restaurant, the food is good and the atmosphere is cool.
The Hickory Tree offers a buffet with a nice selection of BBQ - chicken, ribs, pork chops, and beef brisket, plus a variety of side dishes, desserts, and beverages. All that for $13 including tax. Beer is available for an additional charge. You pay when you enter the restaurant, then provide all of your own service including getting your beverages and bussing your table. The plates and utensils are disposable plastic.
Hickory Tree Restaurant occupies the former Smolan High School which operated from 1926-1950. The last graduating class had 3 members. From 1946-1987 elementary and middle school classes were held here. The Holzworths started a catering business out of the old school in 1993, and 3 years later opened the BBQ Restaurant. Open only Friday & Saturday evenings and Sunday for lunch.
The dining room in the small old gymnasium. The walls are decorated with maps, yearbooks and old board games. The small stage at the south end has a wonderful, old advertising curtain from another area school.
The hallways of the building are decorated with school items, and the top (3rd) floor has the old classrooms set up for private dining rooms, each decorated to the theme of the class that was held there. I particularly liked the music room and library.
On my first visit, Hickory Tree Smolan School Restaurant made it onto this website on the strength of atmosphere. None of the food stood out. On my second visit, the pork steak was replaced by pork chops and was quite good. I my most recent visit, the chicken was our favorite meat. On just one visit, the Hickory Tree Restaurant had chopped pork on the buffet.
The buffet includes a fairly large selection of side dishes: mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, broccoli salad, potato salad, nutty cole slaw, baked beans, and fruit salad. Most of these are good and my favorite is the broccoli salad.
There is usually a selection of about seven house made desserts. I prefer the peanut butter chocolate dessert. The apple cobbler doesn't look very impressive, but it is also very good. It would be even better warm.
Hickory Tree Restaurant does not appear to be handicap accessible, but you might call to check on that. Rest rooms are on the second floor and there is also a half flight down to the dining room (gymnasium) from the main entrance.
copyright 2007-2012 by Keith Stokes