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“Surprise Jewel!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co.

Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co.
117 East 11th Street, Hays, KS 67601
+1 785-621-2739
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Ranked #1 of 83 Restaurants in Hays
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, German, Brew Pub, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Large groups, Local cuisine, Doing business
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Awarded the Great American Beer Festival's 2013 Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer honors, the four storefronts the microbrewery and diner call home didn't always look like this. An aluminum facade hid these historic structures for decades as the elements took a devastating toll inside and out on the forgotten buildings. Acquired in 2000, these buildings became the first properties deeded for development as part of the Chestnut Street District's downtown revitalization effort.Along with stabilizing the collapsed ceiling in what is now the brewery, other challenges included replacing chiseled and damaged brick with limestone, unifying the storefronts with a steel I-beam and conforming the different floor levels of the four buildings to ADA standards. Whenever possible, designers incorporated original elements of the buildings into the design.The open kitchen buzzes with culinary activity, savory aromas and fiery spectacle. Acting in stark contrast is the cool calm of the steel brew tanks, tangle of hoses and the sweet scent of barley and hops. The industrial beauty of rusted steel, the cool glare of galvanized aluminum and the raw quality of weathered wood are all perfectly offset by the intimate chatter of patrons over plates of delicious food and pints of handcrafted beer.Historically inspired paintings created by graduates of Fort Hays State University's Art Department add color and culture directly to the authentic brick walls. The paintings are indicative of the signage that once appeared on the sides of downtown structures serving notice of the name of the company or type of services offered within. Patrons entering by the west door of Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. Are greeted by the artwork entitled "Three Star Harvest". Taken from a 1930s photograph, "Three Star Harvest" is the silhouette of three Ellis County farmers eating lunch in a field. Diners in the second room from the west are treated to a rustic sign once prominent on Eleventh Street in the 1920s. FHSU graduate, Amber Hampton, interpreted historic photos to design both murals. The actual act of painting was a collaboration between Hampton and nationally renowned artist Kris Kuksi of Hays. Kuksi, a graduate turned instructor for FHSU's Art Department, enlisted students from FHSU's Basic Design Class to paint.From hand painted murals to industrial agricultural lighting, open spaces and references to early railroad cars, the brewery and diner convey an industrial farm look for a fresh yet traditional atmosphere that is Hays' alone.Look above the bar and you'll see that the brewery's designer took egg baskets and turned them upside down to create an ambience unlike any other. The black granite for the brewery's bar came from Sylvan Grove, located just east of Hays. The Company M&G Designs provided this granite for Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. As well as granite for the elevators of Chicago's Sears Tower. A glass wall separates the bar from Lb. Brewing Co.'S stainless steel tanks or "barrels" which produce 310 gallons of beer each run. Lb. Brewing Co. Is capable of producing 1,000 barrels of beer a year. A private banquet facility just off the bar can entertain up to 50 guests, and it's fully equipped to host a variety of functions. Free wireless Internet access is available throughout the diner and brewery.Centrally located downtown, the city's cultural centers, recreation parks, galleries, specialty shops and more are all within walking distance.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Surprise Jewel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Wow! This was a complete surprise when traveling across Kansas. Not just a local diner, but one of the best restaurants we ate at, even from Denver.
Food was outstanding and the German dishes were a big hit with my family. Kids meals come served in car trays - another hit with our young children. Planning on stopping again, even if we alter our route, when traveling through Kansas.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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473 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Texarkana, Arkansas
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Unexpected Gem in Hays”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I spent 2 weeks in Hays, and was disappointed to find this place my next to last night there. Great atmosphere, top notch craft beer, great service, GREAT prices, and the menu FAR exceeds anything else in town. The ONLY place in Hays to get a decent steak. Would definitely go back here repeatedly.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
O'Fallon Il
Level Contributor
31 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Hidden, but worth the trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The Diner is a ways off the interstate, but worth the trip. It is downtown and parking can be a challenge as they are busy. We went there twice a week apart and both times were great. They are a microbrewery and diner under one roof. The brews are fantastic and not expensive. The food is well prepared and tastes great. A must-do in Hays.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
64 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Pleasant surprise - craft brewery with good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Gella's is THE place to go if you are staying in Hays, or if you have time when passing by. We were prompted by Trip Advisor to check out Gella's. The Lb. = liquid bread = craft beers.
We had a beer sampler. The beers were OK, and the standouts were the oatmeal stout and the IPA.
The food menu was deep with entrees, specialties and sandwiches. The restored old downtown building, with open kitchen, is especially attractive. The location is about 5 mintues off I-70.
Our server, Christiana, was very charming.
Gell'as was busy on a Sunday evening and the staff was energized.
Here is another piece of good news - prices seemed incredibly low compared to the Colorado ski area we just left.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hays, Kansas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Very good, almost great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

A decent amount of variety on the menu, but much of it somewhat uninspired. Bierock is covered with what resembles Cheese Wiz, for example. But great variety salads with no iceberg lettuce, burgers are above average, as are some of the sandwiches. Even a falafel pita option that is pretty good. Where Gellas shines is atmosphere, service and BEER -- try the sampler, you won't be disappointed.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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