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From Gas Station to Steak House: Hensley's Top Shelf Grill

By Elisha Neubauer

While most businesses come and go, Hensley's Top Shelf and Grill has been a staple for friends, family, and passer-bys in Yukon, OK since 1939. Hensley's was born when Hutson Marion Hensley added ten stools and a grill to the side of his gas station. From homespun beginnings, the business has since become a high-end steak house.

Hensley's offers steaks by the ounce, allowing guests to determine the size of their meal. Steve Stavinhoa, owner of Hensley's, remarks, "We have had our customers order anywhere from 6oz Filets to 45oz Rib-eyes." The roadside restaurant houses a refrigerated meat cutting room where the chef cuts every steak.

On top of personally cutting the meat himself, Chef David Sullivan uses only the freshest ingredients. The kitchen receives shipments of fresh produce five days a week, and seafood is flown in weekly. These ingredients are used at the peak of their freshness and are never frozen. As many Oklahoma products as possible are used in the menu, ranging from Seaboard Farms Prime Pork to local cheeses and beers.

Hensley's doesn't consider itself to be a "fine-dining" establishment, instead preferring the label "affordable gourmet." When asked what this means, Stavinhoa replies, "The term affordable gourmet comes from the ability to have a high end dinner in a comfortable, non-intrusive atmosphere. For example: our steaks come with 2 sides, most high end steak houses have their menus setup a la carte where sides can be as much as $10 each. We include those sides for the price of the steak."

Stavinhoa also tells us that the bar is set up to charge well prices for a comparable top shelf. How? "We are family owned and do not have all of the costs that large chains do. We truly try to give a high quality experience at a more affordable price," Stavinhoa explains.

Hensley's holds several unique events every month, including wine dinners, demo dinners, holiday parties, and live music. "We're known for whiskey, tequila, scotch and beer dinners. We also host many wine-maker dinners, bringing wine-makers in from all over the world to have Chef Dave pair food to their wines," says Stavinhoa. Add in the unique bar that features everything from Irish whiskey to one of the largest selections of bourbon in the state? and you've got a full evening ahead of you.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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