Friday, September 11, 2009

That was then, this is now

Posted By on Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 3:23 PM

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The Victor Hugo Inn -- where cocktail drinkers were "Les Miserables"
​I have yet to meet someone in Kansas City -- including veteran newscaster and restaurant fan Walt Bodine! -- who can remember dining at the Victor Hugo Inn, which once stood, in a long-razed stone mansion, at the northwest corner of 85th and Wornall Road. I think I know why Walt missed the restaurant: it was famous for its fried chicken. And chicken -- in any way, shape or form -- is the one dish that Mr. Bodine will not eat.

This vintage postcard, which dates back to the 1940s, describes the Victor Hugo Inn as "the finest and most exclusive place for chicken, rainbow trout and steak dinners. Victor Hugo has a most unusual refined and elegant homelike atmosphere where no liquors are served. JUST FINE FOOD." The brassy capitalization, I should note, is their touch, not mine.

I wonder if the proprietors of the Victor Hugo Inn are turning in their grave knowing that the refined and elegant mansion is long gone, replaced by a Price Chopper supermarket -- see below -- that sells not-so-famous fried chicken and lots of booze.

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