Keene Cafe

The Keene Cafe was established in the 1920's and converted into a boarding house in the early 30's for miners working at the Tweedy Canyon limestone mine and kilns.

In 1940 Ethel Stuck began operating the Keene Café and returned it into a roadside cafe serving US route 466 (spur of historic US route 66). As luck would have it, World War II would work in her favor. Soldiers stationed in the Keene area, to guard railroad tunnels and bridges from possible saboteurs, became Ethel's best customers.

During this time the industrious Ethel Stuck pioneered the idea of displaying wildflowers as a marketing gimmick to draw more business. Soon she had 282 varieties of wildflowers and an impressive roadside display attracting scores of visitors. Many people credit Ethel for the subsequent wildflower show that sprang up throughout Kern County.

Ethel continued to operate the Keene Cafe until 1954. Since that time US route 466 has become Hwy 58 but people like Pete Errecart, Ruby and Woody Woods, Ed and Ethel Melton, and Charlie Lund continued serving good home cooked meals to locals and hungry travelers alike, in an atmosphere of days gone by. It's a tradition started over 80 years ago that continues today.

Welcome to the Historic Keene Cafe.