AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — An Airway Height restaurant paid tribute Tuesday to the Washington State Troopers who have been stopping in on their breaks for years.
Longhorn Barbecue posted a photo of a trooper hanging his hat on a hat rack inside the restaurant. The post goes into detail about how they’ve been dedicated to serving troopers for years, including how the hat rack became iconic.
Retired trooper Jack Humphee told the restaurant when he first started going there on his breaks there was a nightly trooper special. The meal was a slice of beef, potatoes and roasted vegetables.
“We had a table in the corner, so we could observe everyone that came into the restaurant, we never sat with our back to the door,” Humphee said in the post.
The owner, David Lehnertz, said he remembers all the troopers coming into his dad’s restaurant and all the state patrol memorabilia they had.
The post said a few years after Humphee retired, the staff at Longhorn noticed troopers had nowhere to put their hats without getting dusty.
“A long-time employee and her husband quickly came up with a plan to make a custom, solid wood hat rack. For more than 20-years, this rack has carefully held hundreds of law enforcement hats while troopers enjoyed a hot cup of coffee,” the post said.
Now, troopers use that hat rack on a daily basis.
“The hat rack is more than just a place to keep the dust at bay, it symbolizes our deep appreciation and gratitude for our law enforcement community. Thank you for your service and your unwavering dedication to keeping our community and neighborhoods safe,” the post said.
KREM 2 reached out to Washington State Patrol spokesperson Jeff Sevigney for comment on the post.
“Law enforcement has been taking breaks at Longhorn for decades. We appreciate their support,” Sevigney said.