Fascinating finds on the campus of Unity Village
DAVID PENNER IS THE SENIOR COPY EDITOR
AND PROOFREADER FOR UNITY WORLD
HEADQUARTERS. PRIOR TO COMING TO UNITY,
HE SPENT FIVE AND A HALF YEARS AS THE
EDITOR OF THE LEXINGTON CLIPPER-HERALD
IN LEXINGTON, NEBRASKA.
Food for Body and Soul
AROUND THE VILLAGE
I love to eat. I once ate a pound of cooked bacon in less
than 12 minutes because I thought it would be funny. Most
days, however, I try to eat as healthy as possible. That’s
where Unity Village Banquet and Dining comes into play
with good food made from scratch with fresh ingredients.
This facility, originally called Unity Inn, has been
feeding people in the Kansas City, Missouri, metro area
since 1906, when Unity World Headquarters was still at
its original downtown location on the corner of Ninth
Street and Tracy Avenue. The Inn was Kansas City’s first
vegetarian restaurant (inspired by the fact that Unity
founders Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore were strict
vegetarians). During the 1920s, Unity Inn grew into one
of the largest vegetarian cafeterias in the country, serving
10,000 meals per week.
In 1924 the Inn moved to a new building on the same
block, where the elaborate interior included latticework,
The restaurant moved one final time in 1975 to its
current home at Unity Village, where it’s now housed in a
stucco building with a red-tile roof. Large arched windows
let in ample natural light and high ceilings make the dining
room feel spacious.
These days, four full-time chefs and two part-time sous
chefs work lunch each weekday, serving anywhere from
about 4,000 to 6,500 lunches a month. Recent menus have
included French dips, BLT ranch wraps, pinto bean stew,
pecan-crusted tilapia, squash or zucchini cakes, and beef
or sweet potato tacos, to give you just a taste. As a soup
and salad guy, I can personally recommend the extensive
salad bar. Lunch is served Monday through Thursday
from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Meals typically cost $12.
Don’t think of Banquet and Dining as merely a
cafeteria for Unity employees and Village visitors,
though. It also provides at least some level of catering
for nearly 80 percent of the more than 1,600 events
Unity Village hosts each year. The full dining room
seats up to 300, but the facility can be reconfigured into
up to four smaller spaces, as well. For more information
about catering an event at Unity Village, contact the
events staff at 866-348-6489 or visit unityvillage.org
(click on the weddings/receptions tab and choose
“catering” from the pull-down menu).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a bowl
of seafood chowder. Bon appetit!
DURING THE 1920S,
UNITY INN GREW INTO
ONE OF THE LARGEST
IN THE COUNTRY,
SERVING 10,000 MEALS