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Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Eat, Drink — Peg Britton @ 3:16 pm


“McAtee’s 45″  Restaurant reborn.  An Ellsworth landmark gets a new lease on life.

Many of us old-timers remember well when Frank and Bert McAtee took the plunge and built a restaurant on the very lonesome stretch of  the newly constructed 45 highway that skirted Ellsworth.  It later became highway 156.   It was a huge gamble for the McAtee’s who had owned and operated a very successful restaurant in downtown Ellsworth for many years.  With four sons to feed and educate, it was a proposal that also shouldered a great deal of apprehension.  The city fathers encouraged and supported the McAtees.  It was a bold move for them, but one that was well-taken. Somewhere they are smiling.

Now, in another bold and adventurous move, Tina and Rick Davis have taken the old restaurant that has been in operation all these years under other owners and completely rebuilt the inside and changed the exterior appearance.  Everything inside is new, shiny clean and …well…classy.


Last evening the new owners had a soft opening for some of their friends to give the employees an opportunity for training experience.  It was a very nice teaser for the guests who enjoyed appetizers and drinks from the bar.


Machelle McAtee Connally, granddaughter of the original owners, thoroughly enjoyed the renovations particularly the unveiling of the old ceiling that once again displayed its original beauty.


The interior design and paintings throughout the restaurant are the creation of the multi-talented Tina Davis.  The dining rooms and lounge are very comfortable and inviting.   And, a nice sideline is that you can talk without being heard throughout the room.


The buffet area is in the corner of the main dining room.  Chef  Anthony and Ally talk shop about their days working the kitchen at the Salina Country Club.   There is also a pastry/baking chef from Capers with a lot of experience who will join Anthony in the kitchen to create specialty items. They have a first-class kitchen staff.


The restaurant has a new look, new roof and new sign on the exterior which was being erected as I took the picture.  The grand opening is February 4th and 5th.  It should be a gala weekend and opportunity for people wanting a new place to eat, with a new and exciting menu and excellent chefs working the kitchen.  Prime rib and steaks will be among their specialties.  And, as one of my friends observed, it’s the only place in town where you can get a glass of red wine.  There is a well-stocked bar.

The Davis’s have contributed a lot to making Ellsworth a better place to live by giving us a new and exciting dining opportunity.  Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They have earned our support and we wish them well in their new endeavor.

Their hours are:

Monday through Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m

Phone 785.472.3043

The restaurant is located on Highway 156 at the intersection of highway 1-40 at the northeast edge of Ellsworth.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Drink — Peg Britton @ 10:18 am

Three of us had dinner at the Midland last night and overall, it was a most pleasant  dining experience.  The dining area was very attractive with nice table settings, linens, large white charger plates and railroad lanterns to lend a warm glow to the ambiance. We were welcomed politely and seated without any wait.

We were told we could order anything off the various menus and weren’t limited to just the dinner menu.  A bar service menu was provided.

After a lot of deliberation and searching the menus, we made our selections.  Service came in a timely fashion. The salads were fresh and the dressings served separately so that we could choose as much or little of whatever we liked. We were told the chef will soon be making his own special dressings.  The homemade cole slaw was very good.  Delicious warm biscuits, butter and a small pitcher of honey were served with the salads.

The food came out earlier than we anticipated, but we failed to tell the waitress to hold the entree until we had finished our salads.  There really wasn’t any room on the table for the entrees until we had finished our salads and had those dishes removed.   The servings were very generous and the chef’s presentation of the food was well done.

The steak was excellent, cooked to perfection.  The baby back ribs were exactly as described…”boiled and topped with barbecue sauce, very tender”.  If you like lean, pulled pork with barbecue sauce this is your dish.  These aren’t ribs served in the traditional “baby back barbecued style”, smoked or baked.

The glazed carrots were good, served in a separate dish.  The baked potatoes were very large but weren’t fully baked and weren’t hot.  They were replaced but they still weren’t “mealy done” or steaming hot as they should have been to melt the butter. That’s correctable.  The excellent part was that they weren’t wrapped in aluminum foil.

All in all, it was a delightful evening, the food was good and only small improvements need to be made.  Any good restaurant always can benefit from fine tuning here and there.  The Midland menu which is rather limited would be improved with the addition of a “chef’s special” to let him create what he might like that day and give frequent diners another option.

Heddy Mahoney made the round of tables meeting people and making them feel welcome.  It’s a very good sign when the owner with such a delightful personality is there to make sure the restaurant operates according to her wishes.  She has created a very warm and attractive atmosphere for the Midland.  Our meals were very good.  It was a very nice evening and we’ll make a return visit  soon.  If you haven’t already been there, you might want to have a special night out at the Midland.

Thanks for tuning in…I regret that I forgot my camera last night.  Pictures always help my words.



Filed under: Drink — Peg Britton @ 11:30 pm

Linda and Brett Seimsen, owners
120 N. Douglas
Downtown Ellsworth

{More to come}


Filed under: Drink — Peg Britton @ 11:00 pm

Les and Erin Vopat, owners
123 N. Kansas
Downtown Kanopolis


A popular spot for karaoke, darts, billiards and poker, The Bar can be found at 123 North Kansas St. in Kanopolis. The Bar, owned by Les and Erin Vopat, hosts dozens of special events each year, bringing in local musicians and giving Ellsworth County locals a chance to show off their own vocal talents once a month. With two pool tables, dart boards and ample room for poker tournaments, patrons of The Bar can always find plenty of competition. After a long day of work, locals find the bar to be a relaxing location to share a few beers with friends. On the weekends, The Bar often is a much livelier environment, bringing live entertainment, a festive atmosphere and customers from all over the county.


Filed under: Drink — Peg Britton @ 10:58 pm

Machelle Hudson, owner
120 N. Kansas
Downtown Kanopolis


The Koyote Den has been a staple on Kanopolis’ main street for over 20 years. Located at 120 North Kansas St., the Koyote Den is owned and operated by Machelle Hudson. Operating the bar is a family affair with Chant Koralek and Rebecca Koralek keeping thirsty patrons’ glasses filled. The Koyote Den is a relaxing spot for many regulars from the Kanopolis area to unwind at the end of a long day or get together for some weekend enjoyment. Shuffleboard and billiards as well as the occasional friendly poker game make for extra entertainment.  The Koyote Den is famous for its laid-back atmosphere, friendly conversations and ice-cold beer.


Filed under: prairie musings, Drink — Peg Britton @ 3:59 pm

Drummers Tavern is in the basement of the Midland Hotel.  It’s a beautiful bar area and I’ve seen many times when it was really humming with activity.  They have a couple of wide screen TVs and the bar has been well-stocked in times past. I think it might be open on Friday and Saturday nights, but I’m not sure. There just isn’t much activity there or in the restaurant anymore so I don’t really know. Take your own crowd, if it’s open, and have some fun.  Call to inquire: 785.658.2284


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