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What you’re missing today: a Most Unusual Place

January 2, 2011

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time, and unfortunately, I’m now writing it just in time for you to learn about the wonderful brunch you’re missing today, January 2, 2011.

Pancakes, hash browns and sausage.

Tilapia or Swedish meatballs over mashed potatoes.

Homemade pie!

That’s the menu for this month’s brunch at The Most Unlikely Place in Lewellen (about an hour and 40 minutes southeast of Scottsbluff). I’ve not yet made it to any of the reservation-only once-a-month brunches (next one on February 6), but I mean to one of these days.

I love The M.U.P. and wished I lived closer!

What was once a movie theater, later a cosmetics factory, and even later a sign shop and storage building, in downtown Lewellen is now a spacious art gallery / coffee shop / bistro.

Here's what the building looked like this summer. I'm not sure what the painting on the building is supposed to be - A mountain range? A cupcake? A hydrangea? - but it includes purple, so I like it.

When I say I love to hang out in coffee shops, THIS is the kind of coffee shop I mean! If I lived closer, I would practically live there!

The MUP has a random assortment of tables and comfy couches . . .

a piano for the occasional community concert . . .

and artwork everywhere!

Here are three pieces that I covet: wooden, rocking sea creatures! Don't know if any of these have sold by now, and it seems a shame to break up the little sea-theme group, but if anyone wants to get me a gift, I just love the seahorse! And the seal. Heck, I love all of them!

It makes sense for there to be so much artwork around the MUP. The place evolved into what it is almost my accident from the desire of three sibling artists to have a place to show their work. The MUP also features visiting artists.

But it’s not just the art that makes it so special.

There are all kinds of fun little details to discover.

Ask about the decorations on the bathroom doors. And the phone on the wall. And the paint splotches on the floor.

There's the gorgeous husk of a storm-felled tree towards the back of the building. Look for interesting items hidden within its roots. Don't miss the turtle.

Wait, is that old irrigation pipe holding up the lights?

And then there’s the food. The menu changes weekly and features the creations of chef Peg Stevens. (Become a fan on Facebook to get updates of the menu changes.)

Here was a lovely, colorful, fruit-and-vegetabeautiful dish I got when I was there back in the fall.

You’ll also get a kick out of how one of the owners, Cynthia Miller, delivers the food to your table. To get around that big floor, Cynthia puts on roller skates!

The MUP owners are constantly thinking of fun, new ways to spice up their business. They’re developing an outdoor seating area on the north side of the building, which might become a beer garden.

That's Cynthia Miller in the photo, giving me and husband a tour of the outdoor seating area.

The MUP is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 9 to 2. (The once-monthly brunches-by-reservation are Sunday from 10:30 to 1. Call 308-778-9557 for reservations.)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other neat businesses I “discovered” while writing for the paper about the economic boomlet in Lewellen.

Across the street and down a little ways is 17 Ranch Winery. This is wine made from grapes grown by honest-to-goodness rancher Ellen Burdick and targeted for the preference of a Midwestern palate. Stop by the winery, or pick some up at one of their retail outlets (Panhandle Coop Plaza Foods in Scottsbluff included) if you can’t make it to Lewellen soon enough.

There’s also the Gander Inn a bit further down the street, which is an inn/B&B combo. I think this would be a great place to have a family reunion, especially since the owners, Dave and Trish Klein, can plan fun things for their guests, like a murder mystery dinner.

So many cool businesses in a tiny little town (pop. about 250) like Lewellen – who’d a thunk it?

The Most Unlikely Place on Urbanspoon

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 1:02 pm

    Excellent post –true to the Katie Bradshaw form! Did I tell you about the overnight stays Dennis and Cynthia made to The Hanlon House B&B?

  2. regina permalink
    June 10, 2012 10:42 am

    The MUP is an awesome find in western Nebraska. It is a must stop for through travelers.

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