The location of the HI HO has been a saloon since at least 1910. In 1910 it was owned by Herman Kley, a well known and long time saloon operator along Frederick Ave. From 1920 to 1933 he sold “soft drinks” then started selling liquor, wine and cigars. In the mid 1930’s the establishment was operated by Lawrence Weigart, again as a saloon.
Then, in 1947 the location was purchased by Francis Curry and named The HI HO Bar and Grill. Francis operated the HI HO until his death in 1969 when his son Ed took over the business. The HI HO had become a very well know eating and drinking establishment and was famous for its chili and scrappy beef sandwiches. The HI HO became the place to be on St. Patrick’s day and still is to this day. The Curry’s truly made the HI HO what it is today.
Ed retired from the business in 1982 and the building was vacant for a few years. Then in the mid 1980’s it was purchased by the Welsh family, a respected political family and owners of a long time family plumbing business. The Welsh family sold the business in the mid 1990’s to the Gianatassio’s who sold it to the current owners in 1996. The current owners have made many upgrades to the facility and expanded into the building next door.
However, much has remained the same. The original solid cherry hand carved back bar and main bar are still there. The original ceiling rafters have been exposed and the chili and scrappy beef sandwiches are still popular.
The HI HO is still a family establishment, many of the patrons of the 50’s and 60’s still frequent the HI HO. And many of their children who slept in the booths while mom and dad socialized now visit the HI HO with their children. It is a popular spot for all types and all ages, and still popular with local and state politicians. The HI HO is truly a great piece of history in St. Joseph, MO.