Bichelmeyer’s Steakhouse brings back the country
It's a scene for the nostalgic the expansive century-old mahogany bar with mirrors that reach toward the century-old building's original silver pressed-tin ceiling.
It's waiters and waitresses in crisp white shirts and jackets. It's a pianist playing Gerschwin on the baby grand piano. It's meals planned and prepared by an experienced chef.
And it's Tonganoxie's newest restaurant, Bichelmeyer's Steakhouse, scheduled to open this weekend.
Those in charge will include Bichelmeyer and his brother, Gary Bichelmeyer. Bichelmeyer's son, Jake, also will be working at the restaurant, along with a former employee of the grocery store, Josh Rood.
Chef Bill Lipe has been busy preparing menu plans and getting his kitchen in order.
Meanwhile, Vicki Dean, who had seven years of experience as a corporate trainer for Gilbert/Robinson on the Plaza, Kansas City, Mo., has been training the rest of the staff and testing them on menu items and other facets of the business.
In acting on his dream of turning his small grocery store into a restaurant, Bichelmeyer said he went through some stressful times.
But even when he and the other workers were in the midst of dust and demolition, Bichelmeyer said it was his sense of nostalgia that kept his dream alive.
"I could see what it was going to be like when it was finished," he said. "It's such a pleasure to take this building back to the way it was during the days when it was thriving."
The restaurant will open at 5 p.m. Saturday and will be open on Sunday. During its first weekend in business, the restaurant will accept diners on a walk-in basis.