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“AMAZING food and beer, great staff” 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 79 restaurants in Hays
Cuisines: American, German, Brew Pub
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
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.
Nashville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“AMAZING food and beer, great staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Do not go to Hays, KS, without eating here! Just like all the other restaurants we visited in Hays, the portions are out of control (I would advise against wearing your skinny jeans to Hays!). But the menu has more high quality items and diversity that we didn't see anywhere else in town. The servers were wonderful, and seemed to work together well as a team. That's always nice to see. The beer, however, is seriously the best kept secret in western Kansas. If you're a microbrew fan, put this place on your bucket list. We tried several and loved them all, but ended up with the lemon ale and the wheat ale. The lemon ale is so unique and refreshing. Don't expect a big city foodie experience. This is Western KS, after all, but this place is excellent. Bottom line: Eat and drink here any time you're in Hays. And wear pants with an elastic waist.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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90% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kearney, Nebraska
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Atmosphere is what the place has going for it”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

They have won many awards for their brews, but I'm not a beer drinker. That, along with live entertainment events is a big draw, I'm sure.

After reading here that this was the best place to eat in Hays, we made it a point to stop for lunch. We both ordered the "Express Lunch" - a cup of soup and half a sandwich. 1/2 Smoked Turkey Club and 1/2 Gella's BLT - both with the cup of Green Bean & Dumpling Soup. The soup was great, but the sandwich was bland, poorly put together and tough.

As far as service goes, there was nothing "express" about it. A man came in after we did, was seated and had half his sandwich eaten before we got our meals - nearly 30 minutes after placing our order. I was disappointed, to say the least.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 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.
Texarkana, Arkansas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
O'Fallon Il
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 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.

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