Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Visiting the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile

I did not meet "Pioneer Woman" Ree Drummond today when we visited the Mercantile.  I've read the reviews, and I knew Cliff would be a total mess if he had to wait in line for three hours (it happens) in order to get inside the Mercantile.  My research told me that if you don't want to wait in line, the best days to go are Tuesday or Wednesday, and the best times of day are in the morning and evening... it's open from 7 AM to 7 PM.

That's probably the worst time to visit if you hope to meet one or more of the Drummonds, which I had no intention of doing anyway; I'm uncomfortable meeting famous people.  

When we got there, there was no line waiting to get in, and many open tables in the restaurant section.  I can eat anywhere, so that wasn't something I was worried about.  I just wanted to see the store, since I had followed the reconstruction of the place on Ree's blog.  

 That's me, in front of the Merc.   I need to pose a little better so people don't notice my crooked knees in the picture.  Oh well, just "keeping it real", as Ree used to say in her blog.  I miss how her blog was before she became famous.  

The restaurant area is actually very small.  I can see why lines form.  They probably didn't anticipate so much enthusiasm from Ree's fans.  

I took this from the stairs, looking down on the store part of the building.  Yes, the stuff is pretty pricey.  What do you expect from a tourist trap?  I wanted a coffee mug, but they sell out of those as soon as they come in, so none were available.   I made do with a T-shirt and a refrigerator magnet.  

Upstairs there's plenty of seating and a place to buy carry-out food.  This is where Ree usually shows up to meet folks and sign books.  How do I know this?  Because of this lady who guided us through Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (don't miss the chance to take that tour!):
She knows the Drummonds, and had only good things to say about them, especially Ree.  She asked if Ladd and the boys showed up while we were there; they often do, early in the day, and let people take pictures with them.  She said Ree is in the process of getting her latest magazine finished, so she knew she wouldn't be in today.  

Oh, and even though Wednesday is one of their slowest days, guess what we saw when we went past the building at 11 AM?  A long, long line.  

At least I feel better knowing they won't meet Ree.

If everything I've learned is correct, it IS possible to meet Ree or her husband, or the kids.  If you want to meet Ree, you'd better stand in line for lunch.  Be sure and ask about a trip to the Lodge when you're there.  You might manage that if they aren't filming for the TV show at the time.  

I've never been to a more friendly place than Pawhuska.  People are helpful and pleasant, and all the townspeople appreciate what the Drummonds have done for this once-dying town.  You can get on the Internet and find jealous people who say bad things about the whole family (just google something like "I hate pioneer woman"), but if you go down there and talk to the locals they have a different point of view.  


  1. Oh, well, these days everyone has some haters. It is neat that she started out as "just" a blogger. Probably was something on your blog that referred me to hers in the first place. Cliff looks comfy on that couch.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

  2. cliff does look comfy cozy on that davenport. i have some of ree's teacups i drink from. i like the old fashioned look of the flowers on the mugs. looks like a nice place to visit.

  3. I know you have followed the Pioneer Woman for years so this had to have been a special trip for you. Even though you didn't get to see her I'm sure it was enjoyable.

  4. I was there last Wednesday, May 24 . . . same thing, we got there early and by the time we'd eaten and spent over $100 in the store, it was 11:00am and that same line was waiting outside the door. I wanted one of the plastic wrap dispensers--they are $12 apiece and I ended up buying six of them for Christmas gifts. It works great! I've been a big fan of her blog for years too--and I was surprised that even my non-internet mother-in-law is a big fan because of seeing her on the Food Network.

  5. I've heard that she's really nice, but I never got into her blog. It seemed kind of artificial, even from the beginning.

  6. I have read her blog from almost the beginning. She travels to book stores and signs her books. She was at a book store about a mile from me. I was teaching and had been at work from 6 in the morning until after 6 in the evening before going to see her. I could have gotten her autograph in a cookbook if I had wanted to stay until after midnight. Not worth it! I am over paying money to collect something I don't need. It is an age thing, nothing against Ree Drummond.

  7. I read some of the blog, once she had some fame, & did not particularly take to it, but you cannot deny bringing prosperity to a waning town is a fantastic thing(mostly).
    Your knees don't look crooked to me, but then maybe my vision is just imperfect enough that they look fine. Works for me.

  8. I'm thrilled for you that you got to go to Pawhuska and the Merc. I live Way to far to go, but I have followed Ree and her blog for years as well too! They have done so much good for their little town and they seem very real to me. So happy you had a fun little trip and did so many things in those 2 days. Wendy

  9. I started reading Ree's just about the time her border collie vanished, and liked it a lot back -- I even had a dream about her (!) -- but then I just sort of lost interest and decided I had seen enough pictures of basset hounds and well... I am glad though that you got to go to her new place. And I know all about crooked knees. My knees have been an embarrassment all of my life, and I keep them covered at all times in public (which makes it a little hard to go swimming)


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