Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2004

Don’s Steak House founder dies

November 6, 2004


The man who lent his name to one of Lawrence's longest-running and most popular eateries has died.

Donald E. "Don" Scott, the founder of Don's Steak House, 2176 E. 23rd St., died Thursday in Overbrook after a long illness. He was 85.

Scott started the popular Lawrence restaurant in the early 1960s, first operating out of a small facility on Iowa Street before moving the business to its current location on the east side of town.

He sold the restaurant to current owner Gary Bartz in 1990, having operated the restaurant for 27 years at the time of his retirement. But, Bartz said, Scott's legacy lives on in the restaurant's fare.

"There are still a lot of things that we do that are the same way he did them," Bartz said. "We still use his baked potato and barbecue sauce recipes."

Bartz, a lifelong Lawrence resident, said Scott made a name for the restaurant early on with great food and service.

"Don really served the public well," Bartz said. "There was a nice atmosphere and good food; a lot of things were done the old-fashioned way. We all came here. Everybody went to Don's."

Scott's daughter, Mary Kay Hurd of Perry, said her father embraced the virtues of high-quality steaks.

"I remember that he said his philosophy was, if you want to have good food, you need to start off with a good piece of meat," she said.

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