Fork in the Road: New Topeka restaurant specializes in originality

Published: Jul. 22, 2019 at 5:05 PM CDT
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Tanya Hines had a restaurant for three years in Topeka before closing in 2018.

"That was an amazing journey,” Hines said. “And people just kept asking me to get back in the business."

And so she did, opening up 45th Street in south Topeka this summer.

"We put everything into this just like we put everything into the last one,” she said.

Despite being open for just over a month business is booming, Hines says, and there are a few things making this place stand out.

"We operate a little differently than most places,” Hines said.

Everyone is your server at 45th Street.

"We like the idea of being able to stop anyone, or anyone being able to ask anyone for anything, and we all really work together as a team, period,” she said. “We have a select group of people. I hand-pick them myself."

Continuing with the theme, the restaurant has 45 beers on tap, along with 40 TVs.

"People love sports. We have all the sports packages, we show fights,” Hines said.

While the big game might bring customers in, it's the food that keeps them coming back.

"Everything should be good. If you don't eat it here, it shouldn't be because you can eat it better somewhere else,” Hines said. “The objective is elevation and major flavor bursts. If I don't like it, I don't serve it.”

Everything is made fresh to order at 45th Street, including a dessert that'll put a new twist on a childhood favorite.

"The fried PB and J, obviously it starts with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Hines said. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwich goes down the road, jumps into this and into that, into the frying pan and on your plate."

Food may be her passion, but it's her customers that keep Hines going.

"It makes me kind of emotional,” Hines said. “I can't even explain, like the ample volumes of people and happiness and people just hanging out and chilling, and the vibes that people have, it's really cool."