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THE CAVE RESTAURANT - A REVIEW - Richland, Missouri

Updated on March 21, 2014

The Cave Restaurant & Resort

The Gasconade River near Richland, Mo
The Gasconade River near Richland, Mo | Source

How It All Started

In the 1920s, the cave served as a speak-easy. A moonshine still was in the works and the cave saw some real adventures including use as a dance hall.

If I understand correctly, the original owner, who was in the process of renewing the old resort, drowned while working the property.

In 1994, a retired farmer, named Dave Hughes, had a dream of turning the cave into a restaurant. His wife thought he'd lost his mind but he persisted and she reluctantly went along with him. Situated about six stories above the Gasconade River and a magnificent view, a cave now houses at least 235 people comfortably - for dining.

The new owners cleaned the dark, dreary cave and put in the necessary faculties to operate the restaurant plus a few added amenities including water fountains and dehumidifiers. With soft lighting, a rustic feel and live music, along with great food and fabulous customer service, it now boasts a constant flow of customers.

Four years ago, Gary Dyer, a Lebanon, Missouri restaurant owner, purchased the restaurant and continues the tradition of a dining adventure like none other. Gary is known for his hands-on hospitality, quality of food and great customer service policies.

Location

Off Hwy 7, Richland, Missouri
Off Hwy 7, Richland, Missouri | Source

The CAVE Restaurant & Resort is located just off I-44, Exit 150 on Highway 7 to Richland at 26880 Rochester Rd, Richland, Missouri situated between Camdenton and Waynesville.

Not in city limits mind you, this cave is along the picturesque Gasconade River and you will be driving into the countryside. Just follow signs.

Once arriving in the parking area, a shuttle will whisk you away, on a short journey uphill to the cave. As the chauffeur drives you, he will give you a bit of history and explain you have a choice of elevator or long staircase leading into the cave.

Shops boasting of crafts, made right in the Ozarks, line the sidewalk to the elevator and stairs. This is wheel-chair accessible facility, but do call ahead for any concerns. It is also a smoke-free establishment.

Please see www.thecaverestaurantandresort.com for further information.

The Cave Restaurant & Resort, Richland, Missouri
The Cave Restaurant & Resort, Richland, Missouri | Source
Fountain inside The Cave Restaurant Richland, Missouri
Fountain inside The Cave Restaurant Richland, Missouri | Source

HOURS

SUMMER HOURS:

  • 7 days a week. 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WINTER HOURS:

  • Wed-Fri 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Sat 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Sun 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • CLOSED MON & TUE (Winter Only)

Hosting for Special Occasions and Groups - Just call for arrangements.

Camping and recreational packages are also available.


Inside THE CAVE
Inside THE CAVE | Source
Inside THE CAVE
Inside THE CAVE | Source

THE FOOD

The menu begins with choice of appetizers, followed by your choice of soup or salad and Bavarian wheat bread.

Then step it up with main entrees, American style menu of Prime Rib, Fried Catfish, Chicken and other great menu items to choose from including pastas.

Dessert includes a decadence of chocolate with some heaven added in, pecan pie, a special bread pudding, strawberry shortcake and other delicious items.

BuffaloGal1960 dubs this LaSpoon rating FIVE SPOONS!

Vegetable Soup - THE CAVE
Vegetable Soup - THE CAVE | Source
Bavarian Wheat Bread - THE CAVE
Bavarian Wheat Bread - THE CAVE | Source
Crisp Chef Salad - THE CAVE
Crisp Chef Salad - THE CAVE | Source
Signature Catfish with coleslaw - THE CAVE
Signature Catfish with coleslaw - THE CAVE | Source
Signature Catfish with sweet potato waffle fries - THE CAVE
Signature Catfish with sweet potato waffle fries - THE CAVE | Source

The View

Six stories up from the Gasconade River promises breath-taking views.

There is a panoramic view out over the river with railing made of antiques and other rustic d├ęcor appealing to the eye.

The atmosphere is as pleasant as the food quality and the customer service.

An experience in dining brought forth from one man's dream makes this dining adventure one-of-a-kind.

Railing Made Creatively with Antiques
Railing Made Creatively with Antiques | Source

VISITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

The word about great food travels. This map represents only a portion of visitors to THE CAVE.
The word about great food travels. This map represents only a portion of visitors to THE CAVE. | Source

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    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 2 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      I am sorry to update this story in this way, but the restaurant closed recently due to the owner's health, I understand, so if you didn't go, you missed a treat. I will miss it.

    • profile image

      Bob Echola 3 years ago

      My wife and I read about this place when it was still called Caveman Bar-BQ and Steak House in the Wichita Eagle Restaurant Section. That was in the late 1990s. We went there and were very impressed with the looks, atmosphere, service and especially the FOOD. We have been back a few times since then and have never been disappointed. We will go back.

    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 4 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      Thank you. The lighting was difficult for my cheap little camera so it made the photos a challenge. Trust me the food looks better in person. I didn't feel closed in at all.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      This sounds like a wonderfully unique place to dine! When I read the title of your article, I really thought wouldn't like a restaurant in a cave, but your photographs show it to be beautifully decorated and lighted. I like the idea of windows and a balcony, making it feel less closed in. Mmmm...food looks delicious, too!

    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 4 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      Thanks Bethw! You obviously are a fan of The Cave too!

    • profile image

      Bethw 4 years ago

      The cave is really neat. How often do you get to eat in a cave? This definitely needs to be on your bucket list. The staff is friendly, food is good. If you are a big eater you might want to take on The Stalegmite challenge!

      Abrodech, it's not creepy at all, the front level is open and spacious.

    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 4 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Aww thanks, yeah me too :)

    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 4 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      I hope you get the chance to go!

    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 4 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Oh ok, that does make me feel better! I live in Chicago though, but maybe someday I'll be able to go visit

    • BuffaloGal1960 profile image
      Author

      T. Clifton 4 years ago from Buffalo, Missouri

      I can certainly understand your concern as I'm a bit claustrophobic and I had reservations but actually it is very spacious. The tables aren't even that close together in certain places and the upper level is even more spacious than the lower section. They also have an emergency exit in addition to the elevator and the staircase and even have a viewing balcony so it wasn't scary at all. I felt very secure there. Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it!

    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 4 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Wow! What a unique place! It seems really cool but at the same time being in a cave kind of makes me nervous!