COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. (WIBW) - The Hays House has been serving customers since 1857. Founded by Council Grove's first white-settler and great-grandson of Daniel Boone, Seth Hays, it has attracted notorious outlaw Jesse James and General Custard as well as fed tired travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
To many in Council Grove, it is what defines the small community and a fire in December forced the historic Hays House in Council Grove to close its doors for the past five months.
On Friday, what is said to be the oldest continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi celebrated its grand re-opening.
Former owner and now general manager/chef Rick Paul said "Hays House is a central spot of Council Grove so to have that gone for five months has been difficult. In a town of 2,200 people we draw 120,000 a year here to eat and we are represented by every state in the union and 35 countries. The guest book is always a joy to look at on weekends."
With over 150 years of history in Council Grove, the Hays House has provided generations of families with fond dining memories. "When I was younger we came here with family and it has alot of good memories. We came here in honor of our grandad and had chili in his honor," said Kelsey Stanbrough