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Steakhouse becomes Virginia staple for over 75 years
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Steakhouse becomes Virginia staple for over 75 years

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It’s a family-owned restaurant with two names, and a Virginia staple for over 75 years.

Located at 200 Fourth Street, Terry's Steakhouse has been owned by husband and wife duo Terry and Kay Mencl since 1992.

For roughly 45 years before that, the steakhouse went by the name of Mencl’s Tavern, and was owned by Terry’s uncle, Johnny.

Mencl said his uncle wanted to open the tavern after leaving the Navy. Johnny passed away a few years ago, and Mencl said he does not know why Virginia – with a population of 58 according to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau – was chosen as the area to start his business.

Mencl enjoys the small-town feel, though. He said he grew up helping his mother work at the tavern, and when Johnny retired, he was the first to be offered to buy it.

“We’re just out here, just a family, and that’s what we do,” Mencl said.

The tavern’s name is still on the building, and neon beer signs decorate the interior, but Mencl said he’s changed he’s moved away from the bar environment that it once was.

“I still have the drinks, but I went more the family-style with food and all of that stuff,” Mencl said.

Mencl was the first to serve food there, with the steakhouse’s menu boasting a soup, salad and dessert bar, chicken, ribs, and of course steaks.

“There’s not too many places that do steaks on a char system… My grill is an infrared char broil that really makes good steaks,” Mencl said.

Mencl said that mid-priced, char system steak brings in people from all over Nebraska.

He explained that he likes to keep a lower profile, though, focusing on the restaurant and catering over competing for awards.

Terry’s also started having a hot leg Tuesday in late January, where chicken legs are $1.25 apiece from 5:30-8p.m. Flavors include garlic parmesan, teriyaki, honey Sriracha, buffalo, cayenne pepper, BBQ and honey mustard.

Based on the leg’s success, Mencl said they may start doing Taco Tuesdays, as well.

Terry’s is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11a.m.–1p.m. and 5:30–8p.m., Fridays from 11a.m.-1p.m. and 5-9p.m. and Saturdays from 7-10a.m. and 5-9p.m.

More information about the restaurant can be found by searching Terry’s Steakhouse or Mencl Tavern on Facebook.

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