Most of us take for granted the amenities in modern restaurants — consistent food, trained servers, clean dining rooms and bathrooms. But if there hadn't been an entrepreneur like Fred Harvey (1835-1901), there probably wouldn't have been a model for the 20th-century chain restaurant. British-born Harvey created the first restaurant empire in the United States, building tidy and well-run dining rooms in train depots from Kansas to California. His vision changed the way Americans viewed dining away from home, and for years his empire was based in Kansas City's Union Station. Author and journalist Stephen Fried has won rave reviews for the first in-depth look at Harvey and his company, Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West. Fried discusses his new book at a free lecture at the National Archives (400 West Pershing Road, 816-268-8000) at 6:30 p.m. A reception precedes the lecture at 6.
Thu., April 8, 6 p.m., 2010