Dining With Denise Neil

Pioneer Woman opening lodge where show is filmed for October tours

Back in March, we visited food celebrity Ree Drummond’s popular Pioneer Woman Mercantile and restaurant in Pawhuska, Okla., – a two-hour drive from Wichita – and produced this report. That is one crazy popular place, and people are willing to wait hours just to get inside. Wichitans are always in the crowd.

While there, we learned that The Pioneer Woman, as she’s known, also was opening up the lodge on her nearby family ranch for tours. That’s where she films her popular Food Network show, “The Pioneer Woman.” She opens the lavish lodge for tours occasionally, but to get directions and an invitation, you have to first visit the Mercantile and ask a staff member.

Starting next week, Drummond is opening the lodge again. She posted about it on Facebook over the weekend. The lodge will be open Oct. 16-21, Oct. 23-28 and Oct. 30-Nov. 4.

“Ladd and I are excited to announce that Lodge tours will be opening back up this month,” she wrote, referencing her husband. “Lodge tours are free — you just need to drop by The Mercantile the day you want to tour and grab your top secret instructions.”

We enjoyed the tour of the lodge almost more than visiting The Mercantile. You feel like you’re someplace you shouldn’t be – in a celebrity’s kitchen. You can see all her cooking utensils, peek in her pantry, step out on the deck to take in the sweeping views, even pet her famous pooch, Walter, who roams around the place.

For more information about the tours, visit https://www.themercantile.com/. The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, where you’ll pick up your invitation and directions, is at 532 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska, Okla.

By the way, Drummond also is coming to Wichita for a book signing in November, but that event is long-since sold out.

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