Note: Wyoming Whiskey offers tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by reservation. Call the distillery at 307.864.2116 to arrange a tour time. Drop-ins may be accepted if the whiskey-making schedule allows.
By Kelsey Dayton
Hole-in-the-wall restaurants are part of road trips, especially across the expanses of Wyoming. Too often the food meets only the lowest of the expectations and is summed up as part of the adventure. Once in a while, a place surprises.
Butch’s Place is one of those eateries that becomes a traditional stop for travelers in the area, as well as serving the less than 100 people who call Kirby home.
Butch’s Place has been in Kirby, in some form, for “well forever,” said Mark O’Loughlen, owner.
It served as a general store and a meat locker until the 1980s when it first became a restaurant that took on the name of its owners as it switched hands. When O’Loughlen and his wife bought it three years ago, they decided to keep the most recent name, Butch’s Place.
“Mark’s placed sound kind of boring,” O’Loughlen said.
When the O’Loughlens took over the restaurant, it was open from 4 to 9 p.m. When construction on Wyoming Whiskey began, they started opening at 1 p.m. to serve workers.
Now they are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday to meet the demand of people who visit Kirby to tour the distillery.
And while they offer a diverse menu, it is the hamburger the restaurant has built its reputation upon. The Warrior Burger, named after the Worland High School Mascot, has everything on it — grilled onions, mushrooms, jalapenos and cheese.
“The thing is hideous, but delicious,” O’Loughlen said.
Feeling loyal to nearby high school rival Thermopolis? Try the Bobcat burger.
And of course, the bar will serve Wyoming Whiskey.
If you are planning on eating at Butch’s with a large group, or on a Friday or Saturday, reservations are recommended. Big groups often book out weeks in advance. Call (307)-864-2669.