The history of Tanner’s starts in the 1980s in town of Atchison, Kan., a little college town in the Northeast corner of the Sunflower State. Grandpa Tanner had spent years quenching the thirsts of his friends and neighbors in the town where he grew up. However, he had his eye on the big city and decided to settle in Johnson County, Kan.
He envisioned a bar and grill where the service was always friendly, the food was tasty, the beer ice cold, and you could find Grandpa himself behind the bar serving and entertaining the guests day and night.
The first Tanner’s Bar & Grill opened on 87th Street in Lenexa, Kan., in 1985, with Grandpa Tanner and his friends building it from the ground up. From the very beginning, Tanner’s Bar and Grill in Lenexa was a place where Johnson County residents from near and far traveled for happy hour, to watch the local boys earn another victory on TV and to relax in a friendly atmosphere.
Word traveled fast about what a great place Tanner’s was to visit. Grandpa Tanner was serving up tasty food, and Tanner’s Bar and Grill was THE place to hang out and watch the big games on the big screens. It wasn’t long before people in other parts of the city wanted Grandpa Tanner’s famous Chicken Lips©, Boogas©, and steak specials closer to their homes, too.
So Grandpa Tanner and friends opened a new location on 119th Street (right off 69 highway) a few years later. Not to leave out his friendly Missouri neighbors who had come across State Line so many times to visit the Kansas locations, Grandpa Tanner set out to provide even more refreshment to the Show-Me side of the big city. He added another Tanner’s Bar & Grill in historic Waldo at 74th Terrace and Broadway.
Now Grandpa Tanner was a busy man, but he made sure he visited all the locations as much as possible to make sure the Chicken Lips©, the Boogas©, and the beer met his satisfaction. Grandpa Tanner was pleased when he saw all the people coming to all the locations to hang out with their neighbors and friends. Never one for idle hands, Grandpa Tanner kept on building Tanner’s Bar and Grills, trying to keep up with the demands of the people.
He added locations on 143rd Street, Platte City, MO., Gladstone, Mo., and Shawnee, Kan. Grandpa Tanner’s dream of being “The Friendly Purveyors of Good Times, Fine Food and The Pause That Refreshes” had become a reality. Grandpa Tanner had come to the big city and done well.
Other towns are seeing how the good the great people of Kansas City have it, and are demanding a Tanner’s of their own. Tanner’s Bar and Grill now has two locations in Omaha, Neb., and one in Middleton, Wis.
Grandpa Tanner doesn’t make it around to all the locations as often as he would like. Driving around the big city all the time is a big task. But he still likes to stop in one of the Tanner’s location every single day of the week, just to make sure everything is up to his high standards.
The next time you visit Tanner’s Bar and Grill, take a peek behind the bar. You just might see Grandpa Tanner, serving up drinks and chatting with the customers, just as he’s done for more than 25 years.