In a larger community the opening of a new restaurant might not be news, but in a town with only four food options, it’s bordering on a front-page story.
Mike Taylor, the owner of the local liquor store and convenience store opened Mikey’s 54 Café last month. The small storefront along the north side of U.S. 54 that used to house his liquor store, now serves fresh hamburgers and hand-cut French fries.
“I needed to get more foot traffic in to help my businesses,” said Taylor. “I thought ‘what could I do?’ This town needed another food choice. I checked into it and started putting some money together and there it is.”
Taylor, who purchased the lone liquor store in Kiowa County in 2008, opened his convenient store and gas station in 2010.
Initially he wanted to serve breakfast and lunch.
“There’s only one place to have breakfast in the county and that’s in Mullinville,” said Taylor. “I spoke to a couple the other day who live south of town and they said they drive to Coldwater for breakfast.”
But after hiring Manager Ronna Lewis, Taylor says the focus would be on lunch and breakfast might come later.
“We’re going to expand the menu some. We’re going to add some more varieties to the hamburgers and stuff. Ronna wants to do some chicken and we’re going to do soft serve ice cream,” said Taylor. “If we get the help and get everything working we’ll do breakfast.”
The current menu, with less than a dozen options, is an exercise in simplicity. They serve hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, sliders and sodas.
Their signature hamburger, a griller called the “Maverick Burger” reflects Taylor’s hope that his new diner will become a place for some of the younger kids and teenagers to hangout, after school and on weekend nights.
“Ronna and her mom Peggy came up with the name,” he said. “If it had been up to me it would have just been called ‘hamburger.’ But, it fits with the school and the community.”
Mikey’s 54 will also be open later, staying open until 10 p.m. on most nights.
“We’re open late into the evening, especially now with harvest season. I know we’ll have later hours because of people’s work schedule.”
The Green Bean Coffee, Pueblo Nuevo, Kook’s Meat and Dillons’ chicken are the only other restaurants in Greensburg. Haviland has Origin’s Coffee House, although they only serve some select baked goods and Mullinville has The Country Café.
Taylor acknowledged that there may be some ill-will from other restaurant owners, for fear his restaurant will cut into their profits.
“In a small town there isn’t a lot of revenue. All of the businesses have to share, but there is a need,” he said. “I worried about the other businesses that sell food. I worried that it was going to hurt their business, but I think there’s enough variety. If people want a quick sandwich they can go to one place, if they want a Mexican meal they can go to the other place. We’re just another option. There’s no other place like this in town.”