The Oak Roots restaurant at Hotel Josephine is open, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Shown in the photo above in the restaurant’s dining area are (from left) Chef Aspen Cripps, Sara Fox (hotel owner) and Tracer Fox (hotel manager). (Photo by Ali Holcomb)

Oak Roots restaurant opens in Hotel Josephine

Oak Roots restaurant recently opened at the historic Hotel Josephine in Holton offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“Our family had lightly discussed opening a farm-to-table style steakhouse in the area for a couple of years, and when Hotel Josephine came available with such historic, intimate space, we knew this was the perfect location,” said Sara Fox, co-owner of Double HF Ranch, who purchased the hotel in November. “Our chef has been working around the clock connecting with regional producers, establishing relationships and developing menus seasonally based on fresh and locally grown products available. Our team will be utilizing microgreens, Midwestern raised fresh meats and more to develop a sophisticated range and palate of cuisine. Currently, we’re offering a bison steak specialty, and over the Lent season, will be offering sushi and fish specialties from a Missouri-based purveyor.”

Oak Roots is located inside the hotel at 501 Ohio Ave. in Holton and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

 “We have converted the 130- year-old original washroom space into a commercially licensed kitchen and will be expanding with deck and patio areas as the weather begins to warm up,” Fox said.

Eggs benedict, French toast, pancakes, crepes and omelettes are offered for breakfast alongside homemade butter, regionally baked breads and coffee in partnership with Penny’s on the west side of the Holton Square.

For lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers a variety of hors d’oeuvres, entrees, desserts and drinks.

The restaurant recently received its liquor license and will begin offering Kansas wines and local brews to pair with its menu in the very near future, Fox said.

Reservations are encouraged for dinner and can be made by calling 785-364-3151. Meals are also available for pick up.

Aspen Cripps serves as the executive chef and food/beverage director of Oak Roots, which opened the last week of January.

Cripps graduated from culinary school in Colorado at the age of 17 and recently came back to Kanas to assist some of his family in the Topeka area, Fox said.

“He was a great catch,” she said. “He’s energetic, bold, creative and loves the purity of what we’re doing here. In the near future, we will be incorporating ag education and food/cooking classes into our schedule.”

Fox and her family purchased the hotel last fall from the John and Glenna Chiles family, who have owned and operated the hotel since 2011.

The 131-year-old hotel, at one time advertised as the longest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi River, is managed by Tracer Fox.

For more information about the restaurant and hotel, visit

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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