Idaho’s oldest café approaches 130 years

The Manhattan Cafe is nearing 130 years old. (KMVT)
The Manhattan Cafe is nearing 130 years old. (KMVT)(KMVT)
Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 4:21 PM MST
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Driving through Shoshone, one may pass the Manhattan Café, and not give it a second thought.

However, it’s actually the oldest café in the Gem State.

Even though the name has changed a few times, it's been the Manhattan Cafe for almost 40 years, located at 133 S. Rail Street in Shoshone.

Assistant Manager Kevin Wyant is the son of the current owners, and gave a little back story to the café.

“I'm not sure on the earliest history on it, but I know from like the start of the 1900s that this part of the cafe used to be, was a cafe, and then in our banquet room, used to be a jewelry store-meat market,” Wyant said.

Originally built in 1890, things have changed.

“Like running water, indoor plumbing. You can still see remnants of how things used to be back then,” Wyant laughed. “We've put in new lights, we have put in Wi-Fi, and we put in new cash systems, anything to keep it updated so we can continue operating in the future. My vision is to see it open for 200 years.”

But they still have reminders of the past up, via pictures.

“People are automatically drawn to these pictures on the wall. And of course our old menu from I believe the 1950s and then of course William Taft who visited in 1911,” Wyant explained.

Wyant says the success of the place is due to the small town atmosphere. A place where they know the customer’s name.

“A lot of the customers that we do get in are people who have been coming here for years," Wyant said. "You get your regulars who come in and have coffee at the counter, you have others who come in and just have a good home cooked meal."

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