SALINA, Kansas — In a bittersweet announcement made on Memorial Day, Tracy and Peggy Hawk, owners of the beloved Maggie Mae's Bar & Grill, shared their decision to bring an end to the iconic establishment after 42 remarkable years. The news came as a shock to the community, who had come to regard Maggie Mae’s as more than just a bar and grill, but a cherished fixture in the heart of Salina.
Tracy, whose grandparents Doc and Elaine Hawk had laid the foundation for the establishment, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity that had shaped his life and the lives of countless others. "My grandparents started all of this," he reminisced, pride evident in his voice. "Verlyn Doc Hawk served in the United States Army in WWII. They planted the seeds that grew into Maggie Mae’s.”
Continuing the legacy, Tracy's father, Mike Hawk, devoted himself to the restaurant until his passing in 2002. Tracy's heartfelt appreciation extended to his wife, Peggy, who had been his unwavering supporter throughout the years. "My son, Brady Hawk, also sacrificed part of his childhood watching as dad helped cook again!" Tracy chuckled, reflecting on the family's dedication to their beloved establishment.
Maggie Mae’s was more than just a business; it was an institution deeply ingrained in the fabric of Salina. Over the years, Tracy, Peggy, and their team, which included devoted staff members like Norman, Jaid, Kate, Chelsea, Blair, Levi, Sierra, John, Justus, and Fat Jimmy (never forgetting the beans), as well as countless others, had raised over half a million dollars for local charities and friends. The outpouring of support from both staff and customers had played an essential role in Maggie Maes' success.
Tracy's voice carried a hint of nostalgia as he expressed his deep connection to the business. "This has been a very personal business for me," he admitted, his emotions palpable. "We're grateful to have made some amazing friends from people who were customers in the beginning. We've had the pleasure of serving thousands of families over the years and have been blessed to serve their children and grandchildren as well."
As they made the difficult decision to close the doors of Maggie Mae’s, Tracy and Peggy Hawk wanted to commemorate the memories that had been created within those walls. "On this day, as we make this announcement, we can't help but think of all our friends, acquaintances, and family that have passed through Maggie's doors," Tracy said.
Wednesday, June 14th, was set to be the final day of operation for Maggie Mae’s. Tracy and Peggy Hawk pledged to conclude their journey with their heads held high and their hearts full. The legacy of Maggie Mae’s would forever remain etched in the memories of Salina residents.
As the people of Salina bid farewell to their beloved institution, they were reminded of the profound impact a single establishment could have on a community. Tracy and Peggy Hawk had not only served food but had nourished the spirits of those who walked through their doors. The closing of Maggie Mae’s marked the end of an era, but the memories and gratitude it instilled would live on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege to be part of its story.
With tearful farewells and hopeful anticipation, Salina prepared to turn the page and embrace new beginnings, forever grateful for the indelible mark that Maggie Mae’s had left on their lives.