Relic Tray: Dining Out 1976

Who cares about the food? Give me a gold ring!

​Leave it to Pitch archivist Alan Scherstuhl to find the most amazing treasures in Fat City. This 32-page special insert to the Kansas City Star dates back to August 8, 1976, just days before the city hosted the Republican National Convention at Kemper Arena.

​The Republican delegates not only had to vote for a presidential candidate (Gerald Ford narrowly defeated a challenge from Ronald Reagan) — they had to eat! So this tabloid is full of restaurant ads, including the entire back page: a full-color ad devoted to the “largest and finest buffet in the U.S.A.”

Yes, the legendary Gold Buffet (pictured above) in North Kansas City: “Where the superstars dine!”

One can only guess whether some of the visiting dignitaries and superstars who were in town for the big convention stopped in to see that week’s headliner in The Celebrity Room: Foster Brooks, who had a long and lucrative career playing a drunk on TV variety shows and the amazingly unfunny Dean Martin Roasts. And in case any visitor thought Kansas City wasn’t sophisticated and cultured, the September headliner at the Buffet was Jimmy Dean.

Some of the advertised restaurants still exist, 33 years later (The Golden Ox, Jasper’s, Waid’s, Cascone’s, Leona Yarbrough’s and the Bamboo Hut!). More interesting are ads for long-gone places like Maggie Jones Restaurant & Pub in The Landing at 63rd and Troost. Owned by realtor Jerry Gaines, Maggie Jones was offering a champagne dinner for two: two charbroiled club steaks, two baked potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and a half-bottle of champagne for $12.95. Meanwhile, Jacks or Better at 76th and Metcalf had a Monday night “all-you-can-eat” chicken dinner for $2.19.

I’d vote for that!

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink