Owner of nationally recognized Junction City steakhouse devastated after fire

Local News

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – Munson’s Prime owner Deanna Munson said she’s thinking about the future of her employees and the initiatives the restaurant will put on hold for the agricultural community after a fire shut down their restaurant Wednesday morning.

According to Munson, her Angus steak was put on the map after winning a national award for best steak, beating out a popular Wisconsin wagyu steak. The farm has been recognized not just for the taste of the beef, but its principles and ranching techniques.

Munson’s Prime is one of the first pasture to plate restaurants in northeast Kansas.

“We had on the wall everything of significance to the community and to Kansas State, any national or regional recognition that we have received in six generations of Munson’s was on the walls in there. It’s gone,” Munson said.

The walls weren’t just adorned with awards, but family heirlooms like a piano rescued from the Junction City opera house fire of 1989. The Munsons spent thousands to restore it. Additionally, the restaurant made delicious homemade ice cream from custom-made ice cream machines.

Spectators stopped all day long in front of the restaurant to view the remnants of the building. For Munson, it’s about more than the building, but the future of her employees.

“Our employees, we’re talking 30 people at least that right now have no job,” Munson said.

The restaurant was visited often by state leaders like Sen. Jerry Moran, Sen. Roger Marshall and former Sen. Pat Roberts, and even former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Munson says Sen. Moran contacted her Wednesday with hopes of helping the staple restaurant recover.

Munson said her inbox is completely full after the outpouring of support from the community. In the sixth year of their restaurant, Munson said a new project was just beginning. She was beginning to solicit pictures from farms across Kansas to be featured in a new initiative called ‘The Kansas Project,’ where their work would be displayed at the front of the restaurant for people to visit as they travel along I-70. For now, a project that would tell folks what Kansas agricultural is all about will be put on hold.

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