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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Topic of the Towne

  • Bill and Sharon Kirby, owners of The Towne Pub, said they enjoy what they do running the local watering hole/restaurant, and "are happy to let everyone know."
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  • Bill and Sharon Kirby, owners of The Towne Pub, said they enjoy what they do running the local watering hole/restaurant, and "are happy to let everyone know."
    They've owned the business since May 1990, and have ushered in a few changes, but the pub's recipe for success is largely the same. As the Kirbys said, "when you have a good thing, no need to make many changes."
    They talk more about their business in this Q5.
    1.How long has The Towne Pub been serving the local community and what's the history of the restaurant?
    "The building dates back to 1917, according to the city directories. At that time, it was a house. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was a confectionary store, selling candy, ice cream, and everyday items. It was not uncommon to have children running around with their ice cream, while their dads had an ice cold beverage. During that time, it had no real title. It was just known as The Corner. In the early 1960s, mainly burgers were sold. The  mid-1960s brought the infamous fried chicken, using a secret family recipe. Other food items evolved and that is where we are now. We believe mid-1960s is when it became The Towne Pub."
    2. What type of cuisine does the restaurant feature and what are some customer favorites?
    "We have everything from burgers to chicken and catfish to steaks. The chicken and catfish are cooked in cast-iron pans, which is why it takes a bit longer to cook. We believe the best sellers are the burgers. They are hand-pattied fresh every day."
    3. Tell us about the tree that has been a longtime fixture in the restaurant and how it changes with each holiday and season.
    "The tree is a new thing. Rather than take it down, Sharon thought of leaving it up and decorating it for different months. Her mother decorates her home for all occasions, so why not the pub? With the help of some friends who frequent the pub, ornaments are added for each month. Last month, it was the Easter Tree. May will probably be a May Day/Mother’s Day. Still deciding on the other months. October for sure will be the Breast Cancer Tree. Then, it’ll be time for Christmas again."
    4. Are any additions or changes planned for The Towne Pub?
    "The only change made recently is the addition of a credit-card machine. Before we were checks and cash only, but with so many using cards, we did it.
    "We purchased (the pub) May 1, 1990, have added a few menu items, did remodeling several years ago. But, when you have a good thing, no need for many changes."
    Page 2 of 2 - 5. What is the best thing about owning and operating a business in Leavenworth?
    "When we purchased The Towne Pub, we had no knowledge of operating a business, let alone a restaurant. But, with the help of the employees at the time, and the help of Sharon’s mother and eventually our son, Jonathan, things fell into place.
    "Many locals knew our families, so they came in to eat and visit. We are Leavenworth natives. Both our grandparents owned and operated grocery stores in the area of the pub. So, we just carry on the tradition in a different way.
    "Our current employees, Russell, Loretta and Keith help us do what we do. The best thing to us is our customers. The many people we have met throughout the years are amazing.
    “Our customers are like family. One person said it is like a 'Cheers' environment. Leavenworth is home to us.
    “We're gonna be here for a long time."
    — Rimsie McConiga

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