Category Archives: Business

Nate’s Place Named In Kansas Top Three Eateries

Nate’s Place is an eatery located in the southern mansion of Lyon’s Twin Mansions.
Shawn O’Brien, left, is the general manager, while Nate Lyons is the owner of Nate’s Place.

 In the Winter 2017 issue of Kansas Magazine, Fort Scott’s own Nate’s Place is third out of twenty Kansas favorite local eateries.

The restaurant located at the corner of Eighth Street and National Avenue was notified of the statewide contest in the fall.

“It was an online platform,” Nate Lyons, owner of the eatery, said. “We were told you could vote online and encouraged our customers to do it.”

Lyons didn’t know about the win until the publication of the magazine November 2017.

The restaurant is located in the southern mansion that is part of the Lyon’s Twin Mansions. Nate Lyons has been the owner since 2009.

General Manager Shawn O’Brien has been at Nate’s Place since August 2016.

Currently, soups are special lunch items at the restaurant.

“We make fresh soups every couple of days,” O’Brien said. “Homemade potato, vegetable beef, tortellini, fresh tomato soup… Facebook inspires me.”

“They are trying to get me to do dill pickle soup, but I’m not doing it for personal reasons,” he said with a smile.

“We are the only restaurant in town that serves breakfast all day,” O’Brien said.

The restaurant can provide fine dining experiences with reservations to groups from five to 60 people, O’Brien said.

“Groups come in to play bunco,” he said. “The Magazine Club meets here. It’s great during the summer to have a cocktail on the front porch.”

The restaurant also does murder mystery parties.

“The game is free and involves eight characters,” Lyon’s said. “They pay for the dinner, we provide the three-course meal.”

“For less than $50 per person you get entertainment and a three-course meal,” Lyon said. “There is special pricing for overnight stays.”

The Lyon’s Twin Mansions are a well-known local bed and breakfast.

The eatery is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is closed on Monday.

The Lounge at Nate’s Place is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., with happy hour from 5-6 p.m.

“We offer a heavy appetizer menu,” O’Brien said. “And liquor and wine for $5 each and beer $1 off.”

Carol and Marvin Creager, rural Fort Scott wait for their lunch Friday at Nate’s Place.

On Friday, lunch customer Carol Creager said “I like breakfast here. It’s such a nice atmosphere and the waitress Mary Ann is very friendly and accommodating.”


Stained Glass Windows Discovered In Remodel Of Downtown Building

Stained glass windows are discovered in the renovation of the building at Wall and Main Streets. Pictured is Randy Lafferty, R and L Contracting LLC, the contractor for the remodel.

Since November workers have been remodeling the building at 2 North Main for Dr. Timothy Crawford.

During the remodel which will house Crawford’s future dental office, some architectural features have been discovered.

Above some columns and above the southern windows of the building,  art-deco style stained glass windows were discovered.

“It was a good find,” Randy Lafferty, R and L Contracting LLC, said.

Stained glass windows that had been covered up are being restored to be showcased in Dr. Tim Crawford’s future office at 2 N. Main. Randy Lafferty shows the location of the stained glass above the southern windows of the building. The windows opened in for ventilation originally. Current plans are to put lights behind them to show them off, Lafferty said.
The original marble tiles on the front of the old vault will be showcased in the future dental office, Lafferty said.

In the interior, marble was found on the outside of an old vault.

“We are going to keep the marble work and try to find a clock to fit (in the round hole where a clock once was), Lafferty said.

The remodel will produce an office area with 3,000 square feet, Lafferty said.

“Including going to the next office over, west, the old barber shop,” he said.

There is no deadline for the remodel completion at this time, Lafferty said.

Crawford’s current office is located at 1115 S. Main.

Action Behind the Scenes Downtown

Papa Don’s Restaurant Manager Brita Rygmyr shares a light moment with attendees of the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet Tuesday morning at the restaurant. In her comments, he said the restaurant has a special event room for rent with or without catering by the restaurant. In the background is Dav Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental.

People with an interest in Fort Scott’s downtown area met at Papa Don’s Restaurant Tuesday morning to share news.

Here is a list of shared comments:

  • Holly Baker, Fort Scott National Historic Site Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management, will be leaving Fort Scott at the end of January for a position in Washington D.C.
  • Baker also announced a youth art exhibit will be displayed in February and March at FSNHS, and also shared the fort now has a mobile app for viewing the grounds with extra background history.
  • Bids and Dibs Consignment shop is seeking a place to give overstock items. “Anyone want to start a thrift store?” owner Angie Simon asked the group.
  • City Manager Dave Martin said the city is looking at ways to reduce tax amounts, indicating a visioning committee is looking at the issue.
  • Fort Scott Community Development Director Rhonda Dunn said one of her goals is to make Fort Scott a Christmas light viewing destination in the area. She stated she is soliciting unwanted Christmas lights and decorations for the project.
  • Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison announced the winners of the toy soldier decorating contest: Elaine Buerge, Deb Anderson, and Stacia Weilert. She said the downtown shopping brochure will arrive next week. There are leftover small business cloth shopping bags and doormats to give away, she said.
  • A Shiney Foundation representative announced there will be a feature film documentary 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Memorial Hall, with a dance party following.
    The film is  FREE to the community.If the person would like to attend with a VIP package ( light meal, drinks, film and post party)  it is a 35$ ticket donation.
  • The Beaux Arts Center now is a Common Consumption Center, owner Denise Duncan announced.
  • A Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative representative said broadband services will be offered soon to businesses in Fort Scott, then to residents.
  • Dave Mohler, office manager of Fort Scott Family Dental, said the renovation of the building at 2 N. Main has uncovered some old stain glass windows hidden in the walls.
  • Owner Angela Simons said Bids and Dibs is undergoing a restructuring inside and a new security system installed. The business has over 1,200 consigners that contribute items she said.
  •  Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said this weekend a basketball tournament will be at the middle school, Buck Run Community Center and the high school.
Attendees of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce sponsored Downtown Quarterly Meet and Greet listen as each attendee was given the opportunity to speak about the entity they represent.

Chamber Of Commerce Changes

Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Board Members present at the first coffee of 2018: from left front, Deb Needleman, Gina Shelton; back from left: Reta Baker, Alysia Johnston, Jody Hoener, Mark Lewis, Darcy Smith, and Gregg Motley. Members not present: Ken Anderson, Bob Beckham, David Lipe, Bill Michaud, Geoff Southwell, and Robert Uhler.

The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce will have a new face welcoming the public at its office at 231 E. Wall and a new configuration of the building interior this year, along with some new divisions of the Chamber.

At the weekly Chamber coffee January 4,  Lindsay Madison, executive director of the Chamber, said Vonnie Rickerson will replace Allyson Turvey as the administrative assistant in the Chamber office starting January 8.

Vonnie Rickerson left, will be the new administrative assistant at the Chamber starting January 8. She is pictured with Lindsay Madison, right.

In an interview following the coffee, Madison said the public area of the Chamber building will be enlarged and the administrative assistant will be shifted to the left of the front door, while the tourism section will be moved to the north part of the building.

Turvey will change from a Chamber employee to a city employee.

“She will work 1/3 time for tourism, 1/3 time for economic development and 1/3 times for community development,” Madison said.

The enlargement of the public area is the result of Fort Scott becoming a regional tourism center with the State of Kansas.

“There are two other regional tourism centers in the state,” Madison said. “So there will be a lot more materials and signage, so there will be changes to the building.”

Also new this year, the Chamber board is adding an Ambassador Group “to be more in touch with our members,” Madison said. At the coffee meeting, she asked for volunteers to be an Ambassador.

Madison said the Chamber has selected a new mission statement as a result of the tourism section coming under the city direction.

Supporting businesses, building community and promoting town spirit is the new mission statement at the Chamber.

Announcements from the first Chamber Coffee of the year:

  • The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign this year netted $7,000, Allen Schellack said. Schellack is the director of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries and the local agency for the SA.
  • The Young Professional League will soon be having its annual enchilada fundraiser in support of the Beacon, YPL Member Chris Petty said.
  • Zach Allen, Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative, said that the company is bringing fiber optic services to the city’s businesses.
  • Live Local, a local grassroots group, will be a new division of the Chamber and will focus on local businesses, Gregg Motley said.
  • The annual Chamber dinner will be March 15, Motley said.

Pictured above, the attendees of the weekly Chamber coffee mingle before the meeting began.

Each week attendees may pay $1 and tell about an upcoming event, with proceeds going to support the Chamber trolley car.

The average attendance is 40-60 people, according to Madison.







Microbrewery Opens January 6

Bryan and Barbara Ritter stand in the taproom of the Boiler Room Brewhaus.

This Saturday, January 6, Fort Scott’s first microbrewery will open at 11 a.m.

Named the Boiler Room Brewhaus, the brewery is located in the lower level of the Beaux Arts Center, 102 S. National. Entry is from the alley on the south.

Public parking is at First and National Streets and additionally,  Judson and Second Streets nearby. The Fort Scott Post Office parking lot is off-limits, however it is through the post office parking lot that one must enter the facility.

“It’s  a comfy atmosphere,” Barbara Ritter, who along with her sister-in-law Peggy Ritter are the owners, said. “No TV’s. We want to encourage people to talk to each other.”

In addition there will be board games.

There is a 40 person capacity in the tap-room, she said.

Right now, Barbara’s husband Bryan Ritter is the primary brewer.

He is making ales.

“Beers fall into two categories,” Bryan Ritter said. “Ales and lagers…most people in Bourbon County drink lagers such as Budweiser and Coors. I’m not going to focus on that right now.”

The cooler seasons are ale seasons, Bryan said.

“You want something thicker and richer,” he said. “There is 4-6 percent alcohol content.” He can produce one barrel per brewing session or about 33 gallons.

For opening night, they will have close to 100 gallons, he said.

In addition, Jake Johnson will provide the music that evening.

Only prepared snacks will be offered in the taproom with the beer.

“By Bourbon County law, 30 percent of sales have to be in food,” Barbara said. “We don’t want to be a restaurant. So we are hoping  to get some support by getting it put on the ballot to change the law for microbreweries.”

The hours for the brewery are Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, 12 to 7 p.m.

Bryan Ritter holds a handful of toasted malt barley in the brew room of the Boiler Room Brewhaus. The hops Ritter uses is from the Kansas Hop Company, Ottawa.  The Honey Weiss he produces is from honey produced on the Ritter property, south of Fort Scott, Black Dogs Farm. Visitors can view the brewing system as they come in the brewery.
Barbara Ritter shows the jars that people may take the brew home in.
One of the three flavors currently offered at the Boiler Room Brewhaus.
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113 S National Ave

Fort Scott, Kansas

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Sharing Ideas For Downtown Fort Scott


Lindsay Madison at the Christmas Parade 2017 which the Chamber of Commerce sponsors.

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison has been the executive director since October 2010.

On January 11, 2011, Madison initiated the Quarterly Downtown Meet and Greet.

“I started it to provide a platform for downtown business owners and any interested party to network for ideas related to downtown,” Madison said.

The Meet & Greets are held the first Tuesday of each quarter from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise announced.

Usually, approximately 18 to 25 people attend, with the host business invited to tell about their business and any future events, she said.
” City representatives (Dave Martin or Rachel Pruitt) usually give a city update and a Fort (Scott National Historic Site) representative usually announces upcoming fort events,” Madison said.

Some of the projects and ideas that have come out of the meetings include:

  • A new downtown shopping brochure was completed in 2017.
  • The Toy Soldier Project was started Christmas 2017.
  • Businesses are encouraged to decorate windows for special events, i.e. patriotic for Symbols of Sacrifice, Naturalization Ceremony, etc.
  • There is a discussion about co-op advertising opportunities for retailers to go together on, i.e. TV ads, etc.
  • A new parking sign was installed on Wall Street in the city parking lot where the depot is located, to promote additional parking downtown.
  • A short-term parking sign was installed in front of Papa Don’s, following discussion of the group.
  • Ideas for downtown events and promotions are discussed, such as 10% off items on Kansas Day if shoppers wear a sunflower, the Halloween parade, the Christmas parade, and Downtown Open House events, Sales Tax Holiday (first weekend in August), 3rd Saturday Marketplace events, including when to hold the events.
  • Informing attendees of grants/incentives available to downtown businesses.
  • A scarecrow contest was held in the past to create fall decorating.
  • New downtown banners for the light poles were the result of discussion at the meetings.
  • Ideas for new murals, for instance, to replace Star Emporium mural at the north end of Main Street.
“We are always soliciting new ideas and volunteers to help organize any type of events or promotions,” Madison said.

On January 9 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. the meet and greet will gather at Papa Don’s Restaurant, 10 N. Main to share ideas once again for the downtown area.

The goal of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is to be a premier chamber of commerce in the region, acknowledged for leadership effectiveness, member-focused services and success, and being a go-to resource for business and community, according to its website.

For more information: