When the Allman Brothers Band played August 29 at Sandstone Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs, some concertgoers couldn't wait for the show to get over. They had food on their minds, which explains why dozens of them finished the night north of the river at a place called Hayes Hamburger & Chili. Established in 1955 by Irvin W. and Louise Hayes, the tiny burger joint has inspired thousands to stop by at all hours of the night and day for food and, no less important, socialization. The menu, which contains a restaurant history, notes that some of the recipes date to 1906. But the menu is only half of Hayes' appeal -- the other half is a distinct feeling that concert fans already know what to do for an encore. After the Allmans' show, Hayes was packed with customers who gave thumbs-up to the concert and ordered their burgers, freshly cut tenderloin, or egg sandwiches.
They weren't there for the frills. "I don't put bacon on cheeseburgers," said the cook, redressing a high-maintenance customer. "I'll sell him a side of bacon." The customer didn't complain; instead, he bought the side of bacon and plopped it on the burger himself. Meanwhile, a concert couple fed each other mozzarella sticks between soft kisses. And so it is at Hayes, where you get what you pay for -- almost everything on the menu is under five bucks and lip-smackin' good.