Baxter Springs’ Cafe on the Route closes

Guy Fieri with Cafe on the Route owners Amy and Richard Sanell.

My colleague Jerry Siebenmark alerted me to a sad Kansas restaurant event. Cafe on the Route, a well-regarded restaurant in Baxter Springs owned by Amy and Richard Sanell and once featured by Guy Fieri’s Food Network show¬†“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has closed. The couple had operated the restaurant for 14 years in a building that was built in 1865.

I’ve never visited this place, despite the fact that my parents live in nearby Carthage, and now it looks like I never will. Too bad, because I like the sound of fried potato salad, which was one of their specialties.

I’m starting to wonder if a visit from the recently vilified Mr. Fieri is a blessing or a curse. Another Kansas restaurant featured on the show, Brint’s Diner, closed in October. We just reported today that Neighbor’s Restaurant & Bar owner Chuck Giles is going to reopen it, though.

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to partner with Kansas expert Beccy Tanner to create a guide to tiny Kansas cafes that must be sampled before it’s too late. Know of one? Nominate it in the comments section below.