Santa Fe Lunch Room

A public Lunch Room had been located in the original wooden Marceline depot since 1908. When the new depot was dedicated in 1913, local businessmen began to draw up plans for a new lunch room. This was not an easy proposition. The Santa Fe railroad owned the land that the building would occupy and would lease the land to the lunch room owners. It was essential that the new lunch room be of similar design and building quality as the new Marceline Depot. A Santa Fe architect was required to design the building. After a few months of planning and discussions, it was time to start building.

On August 15, 1913 the local newspaper announced that a contract had been awarded to build the new Santa Fe Lunch Room. It would be a one-story brick structure, built on lines similar to the new depot. It would be made of the same kind of brick, but with stone trim being used instead of terra cotta. The building would be 28-feet by 36-feet, or about 9-meters by 11-meters, in size.

The Marceline Santa Fe Lunch Room was furnished with modern counters, stools, booths, tables, along with the best utensils and dishes. The food was good, low price, and quick. Four waitresses worked in the lunch room, taking orders and delivering food to customers. A busy cook labored in the kitchen. Rumbling trains would arrive and depart, horns sounded, harried travelers would rush in to grab a meal, railroaders sat back to enjoy some food and a break. Everyone was talking. It was a busy bustling establishment until it closed in the late 1950s.

Chili was a favorite dish at the Marceline Santa Fe Lunch Room. Maybe that is why the Lunch Room was referred to back then, and still is by some folks, as the “Beanery.”