Fork in the Road: Rock 'n' Roll-inspired cafe delivers flavor and feel-good nostalgia

LYNDON, Kan. (WIBW) Just off 75 Highway in Lyndon, hungry travelers can stop in Bill and Ellie’s EZ Rock Cafe — owned by its namesake’s husband and wife of 35 years, for a trip back in time and one of the best burgers around.

“We want them to leave with a full stomach for one thing, cause I said I’d never send anybody away hungry,” Bill Ragan, owner, said. “We want them to appreciate the food, appreciate our people that are serving them, and just appreciate the atmosphere here.”

The cafe’s magic is in its details. The famous hamburgers are carefully made with fresh, never frozen beef. Pictures and decorations around the cafe transport its visitors back to the good ol’ days.

“Well this is when my wife and I grew up, 50s and 60s, and that’s the music we love, that was the people that we followed,” Ragan said. “It was just something we wanted.”

It’s a two-man show in the kitchen, with Bill himself flipping burgers.

“It’s a lot of my life. About 12 hours a day.”

Bill and Ellie have been running the cafe for 32 years. But the path to this point hasn’t always been easy.

The cafe was originally in Quenemo for 15 years, before it was set on fire and burned to the ground twice. Health issues have also affected the Ragans.

“My wife had kidney cancer, and I’ve had cancer, I’ve had three heart attacks and a stroke, but we’ve went through all of it and kept on going, and we love what we’re doing,” Ragan said.

Bill says a happy customer makes it all worth it.

“I love to hear them say they loved it. We just had a party of four leave, and they said it was the best hamburgers they ever ate. So, you know, that makes you feel like you’re doing something right.”