Before it was The Rocking V Cafe, or a pawn shop or an ice cream parlor or some other restaurants or a bank, a post office or a brothel (not really), the building at 97 W. Center St. was Kanab's original Mercantile. It was built in 1892. The safe dates to 1902 or '06 or Oh something & the door was made in Hamilton, Ontario (Thank You, Canada!) or maybe it was Ohio. (Still, Thank You, Canada!)
The main floor is old and creaky. The front windows still have some of that old glass with the ripples. The original adobe bricks still show through gaps in the stucco and our ghost makes occasional appearances in the wee hours.
It still contains the cubbyholes from it's post office days, which just happen to be perfectly suited to holding bottles of wine. Safe drinking to you.
Our basement is home to the past's only ice machine in all of southern Utah. It was a compressor that made ice with ammonia. When it blew up or malfunctioned in one way or another, many people had to be evacuated. There was no 24 hour cable at that time, so folks didn't know what a "horrible disaster" they were caught up in. There are still lots of little pieces of string dangling from the ceiling in the basement. You can almost smell the jerky drying. The rock foundation adds a pleasant fortress-like quality to the place. Ah, the dankness of it all.
Upstairs, in what is now The Rafters Gallery, after we tore down the false ceiling & the 78,362,398,277 pounds of cellulose insulation, we found 3 glass spheres attached to the eaves. These spheres were filled with the most toxic, noxious & truly red liquid known to science at the time(so we think). The plan went like this: the building catches fire, the fire spreads up into the rafters, the heat causes the glass to break, the truly red liquid is released and A) the fire is safely extinguished or B) the fire is NOT extinguished, everyone is poisoned and the red liquid seeps out of the building and stains ALL the dirt & rocks in southern Utah, northern Arizona & eastern Nevada.
We'll never know because the glass balls were removed intact & Vicky gave them away (against my wishes). We were left with a great space for an art gallery. So we built a bar (on which to display ART), put in some track, hung some spots & VOILA! The Rafters Gallery,,,,upstairs.....@ The Rocking V Cafe.
This Gallery has nothing to do with the hard working women and men who row for money, except for the painted ammo cans.
Because we do not have our own patio, you'll see the 2 tables closest to the building, on the sidewalk surrounded by a lovely blue rope. This rope has magical power as well as legal authority. Do not touch the rope our you will turn into a newt. For more insight into the beehive state's liquor laws, see The Fine Print.
Hey Kiddies, EVERYONE wants some stuff!
So help keep that big, bad turbo-diesel, that is the US economic engine, running smoothly, by purchasing some Rocking V souvenirs.
We suggest 2 items per person, per meal.
All T's are 100% cotton Haines Beefy-T's in white short sleeve sizes S-XL.
$17.27 including tax for T's.
(querkschins axed over & over & over agin)
1) How did we wind up here?
We got married in Zion Nat'l Park in 1987 & have been in love with southern Utah & each other ever since. Some of Vicky's relatives moved down here from SLC in 1997. In 1999 they called us in Dallas & told us to come on out for a look at a building that was for sale. Next thang ya know, we're on the internet, 'splainin' it all to the cyber-diners.
2) How long have we been open?
We threw the doors open in April 2000.
3) You're not from here, are you?
Victor was born in NYC & grew up all over Texas, with a stint in OKC & Moscow (not Idaho). Vicky grew up in Summit Park, UT, & lived in SLC, Montana, OK & Texas.
4) What did you do before you did this?
Vicky was a news anchor & reporter. Victor was a cameraman & editor.
4) Where do we get our food?
From commercial food suppliers & whenever we can, from local farmers & gardeners. YES, we know there are 2 number 4's.
4a) Had you ever run / owned / managed / had a nightmare about managing / or even worked in a restaurant before?
5) Who makes the desserts?
Vicky. All from scratch, with REAL ingredients, every day.
6) What was this building before it was The Rocking V?
See: The Building.
7) What does the V stand for?
Vicky and Victor.
8) What's upstairs?
See: The Art.
9) Do we like living in a small town?
Yep, it's great. Bet you wish you only had one stoplight in your COUNTY.
10) How do you pronounce Kanab?
Say it with us: Kuh-Nab. Not: Kuh-KNOB or Kay-Nab
11) What do people who live in Kanab,call themselves? ...Kanabulans? Kanabonians? Kanabals? Kanabites? Kanabolivians? Kanabigguygetabeeronsunday?
12) How far is it to...?
It's a long way from here to where you're going... better get 2 or 3 more desserts for the road.
13) If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
Number 3, The Larch.
-Yes, Dorothy, there IS a pie Queen & her name is Vicky. And just like American Pie Stand, she'll be happy to play your request & make you a special pie or cake of your liking as long as you:
1) give her at least 48 hours notice (all REAL GOOD, "from scratch" things take time!) What this means is: try not to call at 5pm and ask if you can have that starfruit/octopus/pecan smoothie fudge nut brittle double-decker oreo-waffle, tofu upside down tart (with triple soy, venus fly trap extract & low fat hand-whipped, double sifted, semi-virgin Kiwi zest [imported from Portugal] for dessert at 6:25p
2) the ingredients are available HERE & are of high quality. We are also so HAPPY to sell any pie whole if we have it, that we often require a plastic surgeon to remove-ify the smile from our faces. That's how happy we are about selling whole pies. Ask for our pie chart. p.s. the price on the above mentioned dessert: $24,687.17. No personal checks.
- We do a little catering here and there, as well a some private parties, wedding receptions & Bat (that's bot) Mitzvahs. So dream up a wild affair & let us feed you. The Rafters Gallery upstairs is also available for groups up to 25 with a collective GPW (gross personage weight) of UNDER 5250 lbs and children who will not put their gooey fingers all over the ART.
- Reservations are accepted and probably advisable on weekends and some week nights. We hold reservations for 10 minutes & shoot you if you're late. If you're a no show, we come after you.
- You may be asked to share a table with other humans when we are really busy. We will determine what "really busy" means.
- The Rocking V Cafe operates happily on Mountain Standard Time. The state of Arizona does not play along with the whole Daylight Savings Time thang. SO.................
- If you're coming for dinner from The North Rim or Pipe Springs or ANYWHERE in Arizona, REMEMBER: while the remainder of the universe is on Daylight Savings Time, you are 1 hour BEHIND - EXAMPLE: When the big hand is on the 12 & the little hand is on the 8, it's 8pm in AZ, but it's 9pm in Kanab.
- We accept VISA, MasterCard, traveler's cheques and cash. We apologize in advance for the fact that you won't be getting AmEx miles.
- We happily welcome you and your pet at one of our 4 outside tables. We will also happily provide a doggy water bowl, a milkbone & an ashtray, if your pet smokes
- We want you to have a great time at our place. If you have a problem, tell us & we'll do all we can to make it right, right away. If you wait until you're leaving & mutter something as you walk out the door, we'll laugh at you & throw pasta in your hair.
- The Rocking V is a restaurant, not a bar, so you can NOT just have a drink. Utah law requires that you MUST have food with ANY alcoholic beverage order. Silk Pie goes well with Polygamy Porter.
- Our food is slow food, but we'll gladly pack it all up for takeout (except creme brulee).
- Planet UTAH is all non-smoking. You may stroll outside though & have a puff. Make sure your fat butt makes it into the 'tray, please.
- Our dining room and restrooms are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. Our gallery is upstairs & therefore is not.
We will now GLADLY split, divide, separate, bifurcate, crack or shatter your check, however........
a $3 charge will be added EACH split, divided, separate, bifurcated, cracked or shattered check. What that means: Let's say there are 4 people enjoying a great meal & each other's wonderful company but not enough to all chip in and pay the bill that comes to the table. After lengthy discussions the group decides that life as they know it can not proceed unless they have 4 separate checks. No prob. EACH of those 4 checks will have a $3 charge added to it. Let's say that the group decides that they want the bill divided onto 4 different credit cards. Again, happy to do it. Each credit card bill will have a $3 charge added to it. Let's say 1 person wants to pay with cash, 1 wants to pay with a credit card, 1 wants to give us traveler's checks & 1 is crying in the corner because she can't believe the other 3 are being jackasses. The cryer gets a pat on the head but still has to pay like everyone else. Each person will have a $3 charge added to their portion of the bill. You wanna play, you gotta pay. OK, that's it, class dismissed.
- An 18% gratuity will automatically be added to the bill on parties of 6 or more. We WILL do the math on that one.
- The tax rate is 8.95% and we're not happy about it either.
- We serve water on request only, to help conserve the West's most valuable resource
- Just in case your mamma didn't teach you:
1) DO NOT be so rude as to think that everyone coming in for a nice meal wants to listen to your cell phone conversation or watch you text, tweet, MyFace, SpaceLook, MyLook, SpaceFace or TwitterBird your girlfriend. If you are SO important that you can not be out of communication with World HQ for even a minute,
TAKE ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES OUTSIDE, finish your beeswax and then shut the damn thing OFF before returning to your table.
2) We'll be happy to read you the entire menu over the phone, however there are better times than 7:30p on Saturday night.
3) We know they've been in the car for 10 hours, but PLEASE, for their safety & everyone else's, DO NOT let your restless children run wildly around the floor of the cafe, up & down the stairs or around the gallery. We're serious. Bad parenting should be limited to the confines of YOUR house. Loose children will be threatened with having their heads set afire. Really. Look it up on Trip Advisor.
4) DO NOT change your infant's diaper ANYWHERE in our cafe (except in the bathroom & then please remove the crappy diaper to your car!)
5) While you ARE special and every human being has essential worth, at the end of the meal, it is OUR place and we reserve the right to inform you of that fact if you act like a JACKASS.
- We're happy to hear your comments, feedback, opinions & general musings on food, fun, art, music & life its own self, as well as your experiences at The Rocking V.
Phone: (435) 644-8001
Kanab Utah Restaurant, Rocking V Cafe near Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon North Rim. Rocking V Cafe, Kanab, Rafters Art Gallery, Center Street, Kanab Utah Dining.