‘Quite the ride’

Augusta’s destination restaurant

Written by Kim Dugger Attwater

A great meal on the beach may be a lot closer than you think. Specifically, a 25-minute drive from downtown Wichita to Augusta, where the tropical-themed “World Famous Sugar Shane’s Café” is becoming a destination restaurant.

Think grilled meats and fresh seafood, midwestern comfort food, Jimmy Buffet tunes and plenty of cold beverages. Okay, so there’s no actual ocean but there’s artificial turf in the huge courtyard outside that’s perfect for social distancing.

“We have a laid-back tropical surf theme that you don’t expect to find in Kansas and I think we pulled it off,” Shane Scott, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Tonya, said.

Scott said the couple originally planned what they thought would be a “traditional” restaurant for south-central Kansas when they opened in late 2015. But with the encouragement of customers, things took off in other directions — like the Hawaiian Style Whitefish entrée, which is grilled and topped with roasted pepper and pineapple chutney.

“You need to check it out,” Scott advises. “It’s a nice addition to our mostly Midwest menu.”

Naturally, that part of the menu includes Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Chicken, served with red-skin mashed potatoes and veggies. Hand-breaded onion rings, bone-in wings with a choice of sauces, pork rinds and Sante Fe egg rolls highlight the appetizer selection.

Daily specials are some of the café’s most popular dishes, including Chicken & Noodles on Tuesday and Ham & Beans on Wednesday. Probably the most unusual special is Monday, when chili is served with cinnamon rolls. “It sounds strange to some folks but I highly recommend you give it a try,” Scott said.

Then there’s Steak Night, generally held on the last Saturday of each month, when Sugar Shane’s serves up ribeye, bacon-wrapped filets and KC strip steaks sourced from Walnut Valley Packing. Come early if you want to be guaranteed one of these tasty hunks of meat.

As might be expected from a place with “Sugar” in its name, the dessert menu is extensive. You can’t go wrong with Sopapilla Cheesecake or the famous Carrot Cake.

Sugar Shane’s caters all over South-Central Kansas through its Five Star Catering operation, providing spreads for weddings, corporate events, family reunions, holiday parties and even professional sports teams and entertainers. Its onsite event center has been used by many a Wichita-area bride for rehearsal dinners.

Like everyone else, the Scotts were forced to adjust by the pandemic. They implemented online ordering and curbside pickup and expanded their delivery territory. Adding the “Surf & Turf” courtyard “was a real game changer,” Scott said.

Customers have always been anxious to buy t-shirts, cups and other items with the café’s motto: “No matter the latitude it’s a tropical attitude.” Scott thought it was “cool” the first time he saw somebody wearing one, in a Wichita mall. Many others have sent back photos of themselves wearing the shirts in places such as the Caribbean, Australia and Europe.

“We are having fun with it,” Scott said. “It’s been quite the ride.”

World Famous Sugar Shane’s Café
430 State St.,
Augusta, KS 67010

Watch Kim Dugger Attwater’s interview with Shane Scott on our Facebook page.

If you would like to see your restaurant in the SPLURGE! Restaurant Spotlight contact, us at 316.267.3678.

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