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“What a find on I-170!” 4 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.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“What a find on I-170!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2010

Having made many trips across Kansas on I-70, we were ready to just be happy to find a McDonald’s or a truck stop with a Subway. As we went flying across the plains on our last trip to Colorado, I saw an intriguing billboard advertising a microbrewery in Hays, KS. Grabbing my phone, I quickly started searching for info and a map to it.

It looks like there is a trend to revitalize the downtown area of Hays featuring the Chestnut Street district. (In fact at least one gallery was open the Sunday afternoon we stopped.) We were pleasantly surprised with what we found—Gella’s Diner and Lb. Brewery Co. The décor and architecture is awesome (make sure you check out the bathrooms) and so is the beer and food! I had the Brewben (their take on the Reuben) and it was great. (I did ask for more Oatmeal Stout Thousand Island dressing on the side.) Even if you don’t like sauerkraut, I would encourage you to try theirs—it is less vinegary and very earthy. My partner tried the Beerwurst and deemed it good. We both got fried dill pickle spears on the side. The other sandwiches on the menu looked very appealing.

The beer was cold and good. Not being a huge beer lover, I only ventured toward the Raspberry Wheat which had very subtle raspberry overtones. I could not keep up with all that my dining partner had but I think he enjoyed the IPA and the Oatmeal Stout to name a few of his samples.

This will definitely be a destination eatery for us the next time we drive across Kansas.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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382 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2010

Stopped in by chance, will be the last time ! Bad service,menu had spots and sticky. Got a warm beer slow on getting the food. Over all it made me mad that they would charge so much for so little, said something to the waiter and was told that it didn't get anybetter & I was to enjoy it and pay the bill. Very unfriendly.......!

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Tx
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Very pleasant lunch stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

Stopped here on road trip to Denver- wife located on a "shake the phone" app on her IPhone! Very pleasant surprise- excellent beer and good food selection. We were a bit late for lunch crowd, and had excellent service. Great place for a break from long distance driving.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Good beer, food varied greatly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2009

Visited with my family July 2009. Hot wings were not good. They tasted like they thawed some frozen prepared wings from a supermarket. Our other appetizer was good; it was some sort of fried bread with 2 good dipping sauces. Meatloaf was average. Prices were a bit high. Beer was good. Service was slow. The facility was very nice. Roomy, clean, modern.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“You won't believe you are in Hays”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2009

Very impressed by Lb's. As good as any brew-pup type place I have been too. Visited 3 times. Ate mostly sandwitches which were good. The waitstaff was effiecient, kind and accomadating. Beer was awesome. I have been to many places like this in larger cities and this was just as good if not better. Great variety of food choices and prices were reasonable.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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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