An 8 Wonder of Kansas Cuisine
Brookville Hotel, Abilene
Address: 105 E. Lafayette Ave., Abilene, KS 67410
As of October 2020, the Brookville Hotel closed and is for sale.
The Brookville Hotel is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine because of
its famous family-style chicken menu that has been served since
Relishes, sweet-sour Cole slaw, skillet fried chicken, mashed potatoes and
cream gravy, cream-style corn, baking powder biscuits with creamy butter and
preserves and home style ice cream--that's the famous Brookville Hotel menu.
Mmmm....good! It's served family style and it's about as legendary a menu as
you can find in Kansas.
Helen Martin, daughter of owners Gus and Mae Magnuson, originated the famous
family-style chicken dinner in 1915 and in 1933 she took over the hotel.
Additions were made to the hotel in 1948 and 1960 when a third generation
family member, Cal Martin, became a partner in the management. Further
additions were made in 1971 and 1978, increasing the serving capacity to
200. In 1982, the fourth generation, Mark and Connie Martin, took over. In
1999, they made the decision to move the restaurant to Abilene, closer to
the Interstate. Though it was hard for many to see the historic restaurant
leave Brookville, the Martins did the best they could to replicate the
facade of the original hotel and retain the decorations and feel of the
original. They have added colorful Kansas murals and still serve the famous
menu on Blue Willow plates. Recently named one of America's Classics by
the James Beard Foundation, the Brookville Hotel is the most recognizable
eatery in all of Kansas.
| Brookville family style plate. |
| Early Abilene mural scene. |