Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store
Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store is one of the great classics of Route 66. According to its Web site, it has been in continuous operation since 1925 — a year before Route 66 was commissioned.
It would be noteworthy if it only served good sandwiches at cheap prices (less than five bucks will buy you a sandwich, chips and a bottle of root beer or sarsparilla from an old-fashioned Coke cooler). But what makes Eisler Bros. special is its ambience.
Situated right on Route 66 in a National Register-listed building at the west end of Riverton, Kansas, Eisler Bros. feels like a step back in time. Sandwiches are served from paper wrappers, not styrofoam boxes. Coke comes in eight-ounce bottles. During the summer, you can buy a big, juicy homegrown tomato to eat with your sandwich, and the big front doors are thrown open wide to let the breeze in while you sit at a table on the enclosed front porch and watch the world go by on Route 66.
In addition to the deli, Eisler Bros. has a few groceries, a few household items (on my last visit, I picked up a roll of electrical tape to cover up the light leaks in my Holga camera), and a stellar assortment of Route 66 souvenirs. The manager, Scott Nelson — nephew of owners Joe and Isabell Eisler — is a diehard roadie whose passion for the Mother Road is rivaled only by his passion for gardening, which is evident in the rack of seed packets next to the front door, the flats of seedlings in the wooden cart out front, and the brightly colored hanging baskets of petunias in the hoophouse next to the parking lot.
Add in the great selection in the deli, the assortment of old-fashioned candy near the cash register, and the fact that Scott knows the difference between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, and you’re looking at a must-stop.
Eisler Bros. is located at 7109 S.E. Highway 66 in Riverton. For more information, visit www.eislerbros.com or call (620)848-3330.
Route 66 spirit: A+