Behind the Business: Manhattan Cafe in Shoshone is oldest cafe in Idaho

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 10:40 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Going to or coming from the Wood River Valley you’ve driven past a piece of history right in Shoshone, the oldest cafe in Idaho.

Wyant’s Manhattan Cafe has been owned by the Wyant family for decades, but the history goes back much further explains manager Kevin Wyant.

“My parents took over the business 40 years ago in 1980.” Wyant explains “They’ve been running it continuously since then, and there were three owners before them, that had been operating since 1890, so we’ve been around for quite a while.”

And there’s one thing Wyant thinks is why they’ve been able to stick around for more than 130 years.

“Shoshone is such a wonderful community.” Wyant explains “Through everything, Shoshone has always had our back. Through the coronavirus, all the stuff in 2008, Shoshone has always been here for us. So just the small community is basically what keeps us alive and keeps us going.”

The cafe celebrates the history, with an old menu, pictures of historical events that happened in town (one picture shows when President Taft visited Shoshone in 1911), and trains covering the walls.

“Shoshone just has a ton of history, and it’s just a really good place to be in,” Wyant said.

And while history is on the walls, they’re also looking forward to the future.

“I’ll eventually take over as owner, but I want to keep everything roughly the same.” Continues Wyant “Update a few things on the menu, fix up the building a little bit, and I really do see this place going, being in the Wyant family for years to come. Eventually, even my kids might want to take over.”

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