Local Legends: Ken’s Steak House

Local Legends: Ken's Steak House

We’re rockin’ the support for local growers and producers this summer! We’ll be touring our Northeast region, highlighting local products and crops, talking to farmers and artisans, and telling stories on local legends. Join us on our journey! First up, Ken’s Steak House in Framingham, MA.

Ken’s has a rich history in our area and we’re proud to partner with them in our grocery department. They provide us with a number of items including dressings, sauces, and marinades. All homegrown and all delicious!

The story begins in 1935 when Ken and Florence Hanna opened a small restaurant called Lakeside Cafe. It wasn’t long before regular patrons began referring to the place as “Ken’s” in association with its owner. Five years later, Ken had a vision, he purchased tiny McHale’s Diner on what was then a desolate Route 9, known as “Starvation Alley.” Despite its lack of success, Ken had plans to make the area prominent. Magically, Ken’s Steak House is still there today, and Route 9 has become a top retail destination in the US.

When it came to Ken’s Steak House, Ken and Florence had a straightforward strategy, serve quality food at a reasonable price, along with an honest drink and a good cup of coffee to accompany it. On top of that, the Hannas made sure all diners received courtesy, attentiveness, and efficiency from the staff. The service and food were always great, but it was Florence’s salad dressings that shined. Each dressing was made under the instructions of her recipes, all while she kept a watchful eye of the process. Ken’s salads became famous and played a large role in the growth of the business.

Over the years, many family members have carried on the tradition of working at the restaurant. Currently, Ken’s Steak House is operated by Ken’s son Timothy and his wife Darlene. As time has passed, the restaurant has served famous entertainers, athletes, and successful political and business leaders. However, it might be the spirit by which Ken’s treats every customer like a celebrity that keeps people coming back.

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