Below is a collection of memories of Brother Conway and the Railroad Inn from the Bowie Blade-News.
- After 56 years, Old Bowie's Railroad Inn closes, Bowie Blade-News, July 6, 2006. You'll notice in this article that Brother Conway isn't quoted. I've heard that he generally disliked talking to the media.
- Take a dip into Railroad Inn famous pizza, bleu cheese, Bowie Blade-News, January 25, 2007.
- Readers' views, Bowie Blade-News, July 13, 2006.
This is not a letter about politics, high gas prices or increases in electricity. This is about the passage of time and many memories of the robust gray-haired guy with a twinkle in his eye - Brother Conway - the owner of Railroad Inn.
When visiting Railroad Inn, children were always welcome, you were greeted with a big smile and escorted to a table in this family eating place. A recent Blade-News obit for Thelma Ameling, a longtime Bowie resident, highlighted her enjoyment of weekly dinners with friends at Railroad Inn.
Twenty years ago when our daughter got married, pizza was on the menu for her bridal luncheon. When our kids and their families return to town, Railroad Inn pizza was always on the list of do's. One pair of grandkids was convinced that Santa ate there and took a long route to the exit to avoid him. We have been regulars along with others for years. After dinner we sat back and my husband enjoyed a beer while Brother and I had coffee and solved worldly problems.
Railroad Inn along with our favorite "maitre-dooo" will be missed.
You can always visit the Brother's Railroad Inn at Independence, Kan.
LYLE & PAT VERBEEK
Bear's last call
On June 30, after 56 years of continuous service to the community, the Railroad Inn gave last call and closed its doors.
The family-owned restaurant has served generation after generation of Bowieites its famous pizza. It has been the meeting place for birthdays and weddings and funerals for almost as long as I've been alive and that is no small feat.
My name is Bear and I've tended bar there since 1977. Some of you might know me. I have been standing behind that bar since I was 28 years old; turned 30 behind it, then 40, 50 and seven more years to boot. I grew up there and it has been a part of my life for more than half of it. I've laughed and cried and flirted and socialized with people. Mostly, though, I opened beers for them and poured drinks and sold pints of liquor. If I told all the stories I knew, I'd have to leave town.
Don't worry, however, the secrets are safe with me. That is what a good bartender does. I just want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person I ever waited on or worked with in that old joint. Drive safely and be well. It's been a real pleasure having known each and every one of you. This chapter is closed and life in the "Smoke Laden Room" is gone but not the memories and good feelings I have about the good people of Bowie. I'll be around and we will see each other again, I hope. In the meantime, here's to ya.
- Aunt Agatha on Politics, Bowie Blade-News July 13, 2006
Oh dear, the end of an era: The Railroad Inn has shut its doors in Old Bowie. Now that's a loss!
Auntie remembers the fare at Brother Conway's establishment with fondness. It was basic, reasonably priced food served with a smile (well, not by Brother, who was as cheerful as a winter blizzard) by the personable waitresses.
Not too many newcomers to Bowie will know about the eatery since Brother never advertised, refused all requests for interviews and had no signs pointing the way to the inn hidden behind a bank and adjacent to the railroad tracks.
But we old-timers will miss it. Auntie wishes Brother the best of luck in his leisure days.