Family Dining Returning to Mahoney State Park, Nebraska

Texas State Parks
Family Dining Returning to Mahoney State Park, Nebraska
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Nebraska -( Family dining against the backdrop of the scenic Platte River is returning to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP).

The Lodge Restaurant, located in the park’s Peter Kiewit Lodge will reopen under new management on Monday, June 1.

The new operating vendor is Treat America Food Services, a food service management company based in Merriam, Kan. Treat America operates corporate cafeterias in the Lincoln and Omaha area and a popular restaurant in Kansas City.

The restaurant will be open daily from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. While a buffet will be available daily, diners may order, “local favorites,” off the menu Wednesday through Sunday. Buffet food selections will change daily. Chicken fried steak will be featured on Wednesdays, steak on Thursdays, ribs on Fridays, and prime rib on Saturdays. Brunch also will be served Sundays from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and special holiday meals will be scheduled. Chef Manager Arif Wright of Seward said all food items served at the restaurant will be fresh and made from scratch in the kitchen.

The restaurant’s bar is scheduled to open in early July, and it will have a menu, as well.

Treat America North Region District Manager Jack Conley expects the restaurant, with its family atmosphere and menu, will attract diners from the Omaha and Lincoln areas, as well as park visitors. “I hope that when they eat their meal and look out at the scenery they will have one of the better dining experiences they will ever have,” Conley said.

Added Wright: “This is the perfect marriage of food, scenery and an excellent facility.”

Parks Division Administrator Jim Swenson said that a quality restaurant with good food and service is a critical component of the park operation. “Our guests, whether residing in the park or driving out for a meal, have come to expect a family dining experience when they visit the park. Game and Parks is pleased to partner with Treat America in fulfilling those expectations.”

In addition to dining in the restaurant, Treat America will offer catering for park events such as family reunions, weddings and corporate outings. Future plans may include a dinner theater package including a meal at the restaurant and a ticket to the park’s theater. Parks Bucks also would be valid for use at the restaurant.

The restaurant will feature Arbor Day Coffee, which is owned by the Arbor Day Foundation and grown with environment-friendly practices in Peru. The beans are grown under the rain forest canopy, saving two square feet of rain forest per cup of coffee.

The Nebraska Game and Parks had operated the restaurant in the lodge since it opened in 1991. Over the years, the cost of running the restaurant became a financial concern. Game and Parks chose privatization of that public service to lessen the financial burden on the agency. Treat America Food Services privately operated the restaurant as an upscale steakhouse from December 2010 to December 2011 before ending its contract with Game and Parks. Jeff and Emily Parker operated the restaurant as Mahoney Grille from February 2012 until early January 2015. Following the closure of the Mahoney Grille, Game and Parks conducted a competitive bid process to select a new vendor, and utilized the winter and spring seasons to make renovations within the kitchen, update some equipment and refurbish the outside deck.

Restaurant hours of operation will change during the offseason. A park entry permit is required of each vehicle entering Mahoney SP.

  • 6 thoughts on “Family Dining Returning to Mahoney State Park, Nebraska

    1. After reading reviews of Mahoney restaurant, I suggest to people complaining of the food and cost at Mahoney Lodge try Platte River state park lodge, Less expensive, food is always excellent, can eat out on patio with a great view!! The hiking trails are much better also..

    2. I wish I had read the reviews of your restaurant before we tried it on this past July 4th holiday weekend (2016) My husband had the dinner Buffett in the evening and said the selection was poor, and the food was not hot.the setting is indeed beautiful, so I was hoping the food would be excellent as well. Since we are a captive audience, as we were staying at the lodge for a family Reunion weekend, we chose not to leave the lodge and gave the restaurant the benefit of the doubt and had breakfast there the next morning. It was without a doubt one of the worst breakfasts that I have ever had while eating out. The coffee was warm. Ihad just had “warm” coffee in the lobby; The attendant in the lobby said she couldn’t make fresh until the pot was completely empty. The pot was fresh at 5am she said… we could wait until the restaurant opened. I hate warm coffee! In the restaurant, The waitress asked me if I wanted her to make a new pot. duh,! It was an industrial size pot, and I think it was yesterday’s coffee just plugged in and warmed up. We were one of the first ones in the restaurant….the scrambled eggs were not yet on the buffet line because they were not done, there were no tongs in any of the sausage, bacon pans. There was gravy but no biscuits. In addition to the minimal items in the breakfast buffet, non of the items were hot. The boiler pans that are supposed to keep things warm were not steaming. The cost was $22.00 for two. I really suggest that the lodge look into the management of the restaurant. People should definitely not make a special trip to your lodge for the food. I guarantee you will be disappointed.

    3. Fast forward to 2016….Does anyone monitor this site?
      The Lodge food was not good at all. We were the first evening customers so the food should have been fresh and ready for evening customers.
      For $18.95 we expected a great buffet. The ranch dressing was watered down. The dressing dopes looked like something from the pasture. The ham and prime rib type meat looked like it had set for some time and was cold. The coffee was cold, the chocolate milk was out. Instead of the person waiting at the table saying I will bring you a cup of fresh hot coffee she said I will tell them and never come back to even say it is fresh now. . I could go on but what took the “cake” -my husband asked if there was any more pumpkin pie, the attendant brought out one piece in her had (did have a glove on) and asked “where is your plate?” This was our 3rd dinner since these people have taken it over, I was hoping they improved. It is a beautiful setting and could do quite well but proper training and some decent food. When I called in to say you can do better, the lodge gal said “we can’t see into the coffee pots!!! No, but you could check by taking the lid off and making sure coffee is in it.

    4. We visited yesterday. We were not offered a menu. When we asked about a menu, we were told there were only 2 burger choices on the menu, the buffet was their only option. The food was atrocious! There weren’t sufficient serving utensils for guests to serve from both sides of the buffet. The food was awful! What looked like a gravy was actually mashed potatoes that were gluey and lumpy. When we started to eat our chicken (I could only find pale, lightly grilled wings in the serving pan, my husband found a thigh), it was undercooked. The green beans were undercooked. Our choice for meat was a piece of dried fish, undercooked chicken and over sauces ribs. I tried the ribs and they were dried out with little meat on the bones. Very poor selection of food for $12.50. The service was worse. We asked 3 times for a refill on a drink. We waited nearly 45 minutes for our bill, asking for a manager. We expressed our dissatisfaction with the food. He said he was aware that the buffet had undercooked chicken and was sorry no one got to our table to tell us not to eat the chicken. He apologized. The table next to us had the same complaint. He comp-ed one of their meals. He made no such offer for us. When we asked, for the 3rd time if we could get our bill the manager raised his voice to us and told us that he couldn’t help get the bill if we continued to talk to him. The waitress returned 15 minutes later and slammed the booklet on our table and stormed off. The manager returned and told us that we left the waitress in tears. I asked if we could pay our bill and leave, he walked away. We tried to find a cashier so that we could get out of the hostage situation we were in. There was none to be found. One waitress offered to have a different manager ring up our bill. The first manager finally took our credit cards. After another 15 minute wait he returned, rudely presented us the slips. When we checked our accounts later we found that our dining partners credit card has been charged twice! Will never go back there again. Trying to find contact information for Treat America to file a complaint.

    5. You really need to update your information regarding the dining as it is incorrect. Yesterday, my wife and I drove to Mahoney State Park to try out the new restaurant. We were greeted within the park with signs proclaiming the “Restaurant is now Open”…………..
      However, when we entered ( approx 2PM ) we found that the restaurant was “CLOSED” and would only be open for Buffet at 5 PM and that is was ONLY OPEN for Buffets starting at 5 PM. and NOT the 7:00AM – 9:00PM as posted in the article.
      There was no information available as to what the meals actually were, prices, etc. In short, no one in the Lodge had any reliable information regarding the restaurant at all.
      I’d like to know what is being served, prices, and hours of operation before I make the trip again.
      Is there any reliable contact/phone number??

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