Town Topic is an old school diner, no more and no less. They are fine with that moniker, and wear it proudly. With just three locations across the metro, they aren’t trying to corner the market on fast food.
Town Topic’s Meager Beginnings
Way back in 1937, Claude Sparks opened the first Town Topic at 2442 1/2 Broadway in KCMO. He sold the first hamburgers for a nickel. In comparison, a postage stamp costs three cents. This is the same year that the Hindenburg exploded. Ronald Reagan made his film debut, and construction on the Golden Gate Bridge was completed. You see, it was a long time ago. At the end of his first day, Claude had pocketed a whopping $21.00, and a Kansas City icon had it’s beginning. Times have changed, and our city has grown, as has Town Topic’s reputation.
What hasn’t changed? Town Topic still prepares menu items in full view of visitors. No hidden magic in a closed off galley. Customers place their orders at the counter, before scouting about for a seat. With some luck, and good timing they will find one. Yeah, they can get pretty busy at times. The fact that people will chance having to stand and eat speaks volumes about the taste of the food. This same story-line is played out over and over at each of the three locations. For our visit, we stopped in the Mission, Kansas location. At a mere 25 years old, it is the new addition to the family.
What Makes You So Special?
Town Topic has developed such a faithful following, because they stick to their guns. While many restaurants have tried reinventing themselves, Town Topic has stayed true to its traditions. Breakfast is served up each day to throngs of hungry customers. Just about any menu item you could think of is available. Of course that is if it is an American breakfast standard. Not in the mood for an omelet or pancakes, how about cereal and milk? You could always just settle on the ever popular biscuits and gravy. By the way, it’s real gravy, and the pancakes are as big as the plate. At the Missouri locations they stay open 24 hours a day. A late night (or early morning depending on your perspective) visit will often find a second rush of customers. A large rush from the post-bar crowd fills the diner with hungry mouths, chatting and dining on late night nourishment. A lot of breakfast items are ordered during these hours, and the hot coffee flows freely.
Once the desire for breakfast foods have passed, their are still plenty of options. Burgers come in single, double, triple, and bigger choices. Chili dogs and tenderloins fight for room in baskets crowded with fries, rings or tots. Bowls of chili bring the delicious aroma that fills the diner. Those that dine lightly or bring extra large appetites revisit the counter to order dessert. Slices of fresh pie can be ordered with or without a scoop of ice cream. Root beer floats and sundaes tempt customers who have a sweet tooth. At the end of the visit, customers realize that the meal was still reasonably priced. What a nice bonus, but the fact is Town Topic has always tried to provide good value to its customers.