Club D'Est: A popular place to eat in Pratt, a hub of entertainment in the community
Fifty-two years in business and the Club D’Est Restaurant at 202 South Main St, Pratt, Kansas has never left family hands. Current owner Bobby Eastes took over 32 years ago and said he plans on keeping it that way for many years to come. The dining establishment has two sides of service, the club side and the cafe side, and offers everything from steaks, seafood, accompianied by an assortment of alcoholic beverages, to hamburgers and lighter lunch fare.
The restaurant started as a breakfast/ coffee shop open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., run by Eastes’ father. The addition of evening steaks created a busier and busier climate, and when the senior Eastes got hurt, he asked son Bobby Eastes to come help run the business. Eastes eventually ended up taking over the restaurant and growing it from five employees to 80, and from 40 seats for customers to 400 through the years.
Eastes said has been able to grow his business tremendously, and when asked what his goal for this coming year is, Eastes said, “to come out of Covid alive and on two feet.”
Eastes said he is very proud of the Pratt community and really proud of how involved Club D’Est has been in helping out the entire community. They have made donations to the youth for a new football field, school, recreation programs, and PCC.
Production was slowed in March of 2020 when COVID-19 hit and many restaurants and small business were required to shut their doors to the public. Club D’Est was closed for a total of two months, and after those months Eastes said the restaurant was only open for carryout and to-go orders.
"I had to sit down and knuckle out the situation to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t," he said.
Club D’Est was lucky enough unlike other businesses to retain almost all of their staff, although Eastes had to shut down the Sunday buffet line. Currently, everyone is being optimistic about the future.
Eastes said he tries to keep a wide variety of foods on the menu, or different forms of entertainment such as TV’s, live music or karaoke nights to entice customers to keep coming back -- unlike in a larger city where a restaurant doesn’t necessarily have to rely on the same customers coming back.
“In a small community like Pratt, everybody is our competitor," Eastes said. "We are not just in the food industry, we are in the entertainment industry as well.”
Eastes said he has to compete with events such as the hamburger cookout by the booster club at Pratt High School (PHS), the Super Bowl fundraisers, or even the concession stand at PHS. All these events or places draw customers away from the Club D’Est.
"When you face hardships, you have to examine all products and figure out your pluses and minuses,” Eastes said. "We are on our feet and moving forward, trying to make it through these difficult times with both feet on the ground."
There are many duties performed in the food industry, but when asked what his favorite part of owning a restaurant was, Eastes said he liked the high speed, always in motion atmosphere, and the taking-lots-of-energy part of the business.
Growing up Eastes was involved in many sports, and he said he feels that the restaurant business is as close as he can get to those same feelings felt in sports, whether that be the highs and lows of intensity or the sudden adrenaline rushes.
"It’s not a job where anyone sits down all day," he said.
So take your family down to Club D’Est for a nice dinner, support the community, and have a good time. The restaurant is located at , or contact them at 620-672-6116.