With original 1930s-style soda fountains and a classic 50s style bar, one restaurant is chefing up simple foods to please the stomach this winter.
Old Mill Tasty Shop opened in 1932 at the hands of Wichita’s Otto and Erma Woermke. Apart from closing down once in the 80s, Old Mill has been a Wichita Staple.
And there’s a reason for that.
Part-time waiter Nathan Kitwanga commented on Old Mill’s appeal.
“Nice people, nice customers, nice food,” Kitwanga said. “You can meet new people almost every day here and it’s not like McDonalds or any fast food places like that around town.”
Old Mill Tasty Shop is about ten steps away from Barleycorn’s Bar. It’s the perfect place to grab a peanut butter and banana sandwich before catching a show and a beer.
The employee turnover rate, according to Head Weekend manager Dustin Cox, is surprisingly quite low.
“We are a family,” Cox said of the staff and clientele alike at Old Mill. “I think it’s that we are a staff and one where people know that.”
As for the clientele loyalty, Cox attributes it to the simple foods offered. One star on the menu is the chicken salad sandwich.
“This kind of thing is whats most popular,” Cox said of the sandwich. “It’s the food. It’s all homemade and people know that.”
On the day The Sunflower visited, the restaurant was characteristically busy.
“It’s awesome,” patron Amy Bokma said of her meal. “We are never disappointed, for sure. The portions are good and it’s much better than fast food.”
Terrie Mayta, a local resident who has frequented Old Mill since for decades, reminisced about her visits to the restaurant.
“I’ve been coming here since the 70s as well as my kids,” Mayta said. “They always loved the peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”
Now, she watches her granddaughter sip an Old Mill vanilla shake at the other side of the table. Smiling, she flags down her check, all the more likely to return to Old Mill again in the future.