HAYS, KS --- Professional restaurateur Bob St. Peter is the new operator of Expeditions, the restaurant at Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
St. Peter is the owner and operator of R & E Enterprises, a restaurant management and consulting company that runs three Hays restaurants, Golden Ox Steakhouse, Golden Ox Pavilion and Arby's Roast Beef of Hays.
"We've completely revamped the whole menu," he said. "We've extended the pasta line and the salad line. We're bringing in a lot more fish like pollock, salmon, halibut and orange roughy."
St. Peter said the tentative opening date is Feb. 15. The agreement with FHSU was signed this week.
"I am very happy to have someone with Bob's experience and track record taking over the operation at Expeditions," said Bruce Shubert, vice president for administration and finance at FHSU.
"I'm also really excited about the people he's working with to develop the menu for Expeditions," he said. "Working with Tim Pfannenstiel and Ray Marefat, Expeditions will have a diverse menu that will include a lot of local favorites."
Pfannenstiel is the executive chef for Chartwells Dining Service, the food service contractor for FHSU. Marefat was owner and operator of Maxim's, a popular restaurant in downtown Hays during the late '80s and early '90s.
Expeditions was originally operated by Chartwells and then later by Daryl and Linda North, ranchers from Ellis.
St. Peter is shooting for "first class" with his reshuffling of the menu and staff. Some things will be similar to the way they were under Chartwells, while others will exceed those standards patrons have demanded, he said.
"We'll have a menu at lunch that's fast," said St. Peter. "We'll have specials so they can come in and get a plate served to them within five or ten minutes, if not sooner.
"That will include the entree, vegetables, potatoes and gravy, rolls, a dinner salad and drink for, I'd say, five or six dollars."
St. Peter sounded confident he would be able to rise above the expectations for Expeditions. He was also confident on a point important to everyone at the Sternberg Museum.
"We will be open in time for Sue," he said.