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“Tries to hard.” 3 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.
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
780 reviews 780 reviews
531 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 191 cities Reviews in 191 cities
269 helpful votes 269 helpful votes
“Tries to hard.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2011

Menu is strange for being in the middle of no where. I think the cook watches to many Top Chef shows. I think they are good ideas just poorly excuted. Service was great all 4 times we ate dinner there. It is one of your better choices for dinning in Hays but that is not saying much.
Beer was decent, bought a couple shirts from them which the girlfriend still enjoys. Props on the shirts being American Apperal an not cheap polyester blends.

  • Visited August 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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351 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Clemson, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A Gem In the Middle of NoWhere???”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

Fantastic place! Gives a weary traveler through Kansas a decent place to stop and have a great fresh brewed beer and a meal. Don't drive I-70 without stopping here!

  • Visited January 2011
    • 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.
Williamsburg, VA
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“A Very Well-Done Brew Pub”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

This is a downtown brew pub and diner that is quite large, located in what appears to be refurbished warehouse but which in fact is a rebuild of four storefronts to create one large micro-brewery/kitchen/ dining area. At any rate it’s well done. We hit the place for a late lunch on our I-70 trek westward to an overnight stop in a town where there aren’t many dining choices. This was a very good stop. The food was Very Good and the service was even better. We had the Mushroom Burger (made with mushrooms, not beef) and the Brewben (Reuben), and both were Very Good. We did not sample any of the beers for which the place is known because we don’t care for beer. Overall this was a very nice experience and a very good value that we would highly recommend to others.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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santa barbara
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great find in the middle of Kansas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2010

We rolled into Hays, while driving across Kansas, breaking the prairie crossing into two days of driving. We weren't expecting much in the way of food in this small town and were shocked to stumble upon Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co. It is a stylish, cosmopolitan restaurant/brew pub that would be an asset to any town and is a real gem in a small town like Hays. The beer was great, the food was great, and the building was really well done. I'd expect to find a place like this in Santa Monica, San Diego, Boulder, San Francisco or someplace like that and was delighted to find it in Hays. I don't know if I'll ever pass through Hays again, but if I do, I'll be eating at Gella's/Lb.

(My only complaint is that the t-shirt that I bought is a cotton/poly blend --- I'd have preferred 100% cotton. No complaints about the food or beer or service.)

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Stillwater, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A Real find in Hays”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

Architecturally this place is fantastic, it could be in any major city in the US. It caught me completely off guard. For someone to put this much money into a restaurant/brewery in downtown Hays is a very admirable feat. This is someone trying to do something good for his community. So, if you want something better than the chain restaurants by the interstate this is the place. The ten minute drive is well worth the effort and these people deserve a chance. Now, the food needs some work, we ate going and coming back from our destination and learned to keep it simple and basic (Hamburger or Salmon Sandwich). Certainly as good as anything else in Hays but not of the quality you would expect in a place this nice. You just want to shake the owner and tell him "its the food, It's the food that counts". The beer was very good and I recommend trying it. Even with its faults with the food, this place is worth a try. Big, clean, with fantastic bathrooms, just makes a very relaxing place to eat on a long trip. So, to the owner, consolidate the menu and do a few things very well and this should be a destination stop for everyone that wants something better than fast food or the typical interstate restaurants. In today's world mediocrity will not work.

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