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From Our Editors
Curtis Crawford has tackled Barry Sanders and thrown a strike past George Brett—accomplishments all the more impressive considering he was never a professional athlete. The tackle happened in a high-school football game against Sanders's Wichita Northwest (Curtis played for Manhattan), and the strike happened when, as an adult, he participated in a Royals fantasy camp (Brett got a hit off the next pitch). Curtis has had a passion for sports his whole life, and even though he never pursued it as a career, it's had a huge influence on his professional path.
Curtis studied hotel and restaurant management at Kansas State, and over the years honed his chops at national institutions such as Applebee's and Taco Bell. But when the Village Restaurant in Newton went up for sale in 1994, he bought it. One of the first things he did was decorate—using, of course, the loads of sports memorabilia he'd collected over the years, including an autographed Joe Montana Chiefs jersey and an entire corner of George Brett relics. And in that spirit of timeless Americana, his menu gathers together everything from hotcakes and biscuits with gravy to chicken-fried steaks and chili cheeseburgers. There's even a burger named after the Newton High School Railers, topped with shredded cheddar, onion rings, barbecue sauce, and notes from girls who think it's cute.