June 6, 1909


Every Man His Own Waiter, but
There's Greater Variety and
Better Food Than Is
Had Elsewhere.

In the opening of the "Orient Inn," a new form of restaurant in the Orient building, Tenth and Baltimore avenue, a St. Louis man is giving actual demonstration in Kansas City of the reason for the much-talked-of "Drew question." The Orient Inn is an innovation. Incidentally it is the best of its kind to be found anywhere, and the business acumen which chose Kansas City as the site for an eating house planned on such magnificent proportions gives attestation of the spirit of progress which flourishes here.

Everyone who lunches at the Orient Inn becomes his or her own waiter. As you enter the door, you are given a silver tray and a coupon check. You take for yourself knife, fork and spoon, also a napkin, and then wander along at will, viewing the tempting displays of cold meats, salads, crisp pies, delicious jellies, fruits, vegetables. Everything is shown in glass cabinets or showcases. There is no spurring of jaded brain to choose from a bewildering bill-of-fare. You SEE the food. It looks delicious. the prices are low, and when you have taken what you want, the fair attendant who presides at that particular counter asks for your purchase slip and clips off a coupon.

The Orient Inn will seat comfortably 500 people, and one may elect to sit almost anywhere. There are fetching little stalls all along the side walls, divided one from another by green curtains and lighted by individual electrollers.

The new Orient Inn is the largest eating establishment in Kansas City -- in fact, in any city west of New York. Its two main dining rooms occupy the entire lower floors of the Orient railway building and the Shubert theater. In addition there is a spacious ante-chamber to be known as the "gentlemen's smoking room."

A special "rest room" has been provided for the ladies, containing easy chairs, desks and other conveniences.

The Orient Inn is owned and operated by the Orient Catering Company, with which the two brothers, John and George Kroger, are most actively connected. John Kroger, president and general manager, has been prominently identified with the restaurant business in Chicago, and for the past two years has operated the Pierce Lunch room and the Victoria Lunch of St. Louis. In coming to Kansas City, Mr. Kroger felt that he was bringing an establishment so radically different and far in advance of anything yet done here that it would meet with instant recognition and approval. That this is true is evidenced by the fact that Kansas City's most prominent business men are already regular patrons of "The Inn.," and professional people and women who find it necessary to lunch down town are enthusiastic in their description of it as "the most delightful place in Kansas City in which to eat."