FORK IN THE ROAD: North Star Steakhouse celebrates 80 years as Topeka institution

FORK IN THE ROAD: North Star Steakhouse celebrates 80 years as Topeka institution
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - North Star Steakhouse is a true Topeka staple, going on eight decades serving customers in the Capital City. It’s served customers from the same location off Highway 24 since 1942.

“People have lots of stories and memories and history here,” Owner-Operator Amy Shell explained. “I feel lucky to just be a small part of that for folks.”

“Us Deans have been coming here for over five generations,” Blind Tiger Brew Master and Owner John Dean said. “It’s a Topeka institution for sure.”

Waitress Erin Norwood backed that sentiment up.

“We’ve seen so many faces come in and out, and they’re just family, they really truly are,” she said.

That tradition continues to grow as North Star enters its 80th year in the same location.

“We’re proud of the fact that we can continue to be the stewards of THE North Star,” Shell said.

Shell says that tradition is a large part of what makes the steakhouse special, and what helps make new faces regulars.

“We want people to come in and feel like they’re stepping back in time,” she said. “It’s our job to keep as much of the original design in place as we can.”

“I’m kind of a history geek so I really love the history,” Sarah Callahan, a customer from Minnesota, said.

“It’s hard to find these places anymore,” Sarah’s husband Doug continued. “That’s why we love to seek them out.”

As much as the North Star reveres its past, they haven’t been afraid to keep their menu up to date.

“There was a time where there was just on a chalkboard outside, and that was what you got that night if you came in,” Shell said. “Now we have a one-page menu with all of the traditional steak options, we’re famous for our fires and gravy, some catfish, shrimp, and chicken options.”

As part of its 80th Anniversary celebrations, North Star unveiled a special brew from the Blind Tiger last week and plans a series of interactive theatre shows throughout the summer.

You can find North Star Steakhouse at 1100 25th St. It is open 5-9:30 p.m. Tues-Thur and 5-10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat.

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