Popular gathering spots in Gibbon

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:43 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Two establishments in one Buffalo county town are drawing visitors off the old Lincoln Highway for a visit.

The first stop is the Railside Highway Diner, which opened just last year. “We offer signature burgers,” general manager Tabatha Durre said. “We also have fan favorites, like chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, and hot beef sandwiches. People like that all of the time.” Many items on the menu at this roadside stop on Highway 30 are homemade. “We offer house cut fries and real mashed potatoes,” Durre said. Often times, it’s hard to find homestyle mashed potatoes on restaurant menus. “People comment on that a lot for sure,” Durre said.

The Railside Highway Diner does highlight the railroad. Right outside the door, trains can be seen going by. But the diner also highlights the old Lincoln Highway. A gas station that is pictured on the wall in the restaurant used to stand where the diner building stands today. “I see a lot of customers from close by,” Durre said. “They come from Grand Island, Wood River, all along Highway 30, Kearney, Ravenna, and Hastings. Once in a while, we do get people from other states who say they’ve come all this way just to see us, but I’m sure they are giving us a hard time.”

The Railside Highway Diner is on the Lincoln Highway Historic Byway. Many drivers travel the road to experience what it would have been like to travel on the old Lincoln Highway. That keeps people coming in, and sometimes that brings people from other states. They come not only to experience the diner, but the Lucky Duck lounge next door. Trevor Reeder operates both establishments, and says the Lucky Duck has expanded since it opened a few years ago. “Originally it was one room, but we got so busy, I thought it would be a good idea to add a second room,” Reeder said. “That room is now rented out for parties and things like that. The last couple of weeks, we’ve had record-breaking nights of people coming in for a birthday party, for bands, things like that. We stay very busy.” The interior design of the lounge often surprises visitors. “The bar top is walnut, and it comes from trees that grew here in town,” Reeder said. “We used some wood from the old school that was torn down years ago in here. You can always tell when somebody new walks in the door, because they are looking around. I make a point to talk to them, and that’s always fun. Being right here on Highway 30, it’s a very busy road. You get people from all over the country really. They’ll stop in, and I like to listen to their stories.”

Back at the Railside Highway Diner, folks enjoy not only the food, but the old reading materials on the tabletops. “There’s a lot of paper clippings, magazines, and business cards,” Durre said. “One of the tables has old car titles, which everybody likes to see. Some of them are from the 1920′s or 1930′s. Everybody likes the fact that we are here, and we are another option. Like I said, we offer home-cooked food and people really appreciate that.”