In the small town of West Point, NE, there lies a culinary treasure by the name of The Bohemian Duck. Opened in February 2020, the restaurant presents an intimate setting with a European inspired menu featuring many local ingredients.
Owner and Chef Robert Knobbe first experienced the Bohemian way of life as a child when he visited his great grandma Adella Kulhanek. “My Great Grandma Kulhanek was 100 percent Bohemian (Czech). She spoke fluent Czech. The Bohemian’s were generally poor, so they lived off the land, canned their own goods, and harvested eggs from their chickens. She was doing farm-to-table before it was cool.”
It was her early influence that drove Knobbe to become a chef. In his early twenties, Knobbe accepted a cooking job at a bar and grill and loved the pace. He continued working and learning as a chef at the Kinkaider Brewery in Broken Bow, The Hilton Garden Inn in Sioux Falls, and the Bonfire Grill and Pub in Broken Bow.
Eventually, Knobbe and his wife decided to move back home to West Point to raise their family. In October 2019, he bought the old Bud’s Tap building, formerly a diner and now The Bohemian Duck. Soon after Knobbe purchased the building, he learned that his great grandpa had once operated a café in the building. His grandfather’s family even lived in an apartment above the restaurant. Knobbe said being back in the building is a full circle moment for his family.
Paying homage to Knobbe’s great grandma Adella, the Duck and Dumplings is a staple dish that offer a comforting blend of finger dumplings, pickled cabbage, vegetables, and duck breast with a bourbon blueberry sauce.
Burgers like the Boho Burger—which is topped with tomatoes, Milton creamery cheddar, bacon, and slaw made of iceberg lettuce tossed with a lemon remoulade—are especially popular at The Bohemian Duck. Also a favorite, the Poppin’ Burger is topped with lettuce, tomato, chives, and cream cheese bacon and grilled jalapeño.
Through his business, Knobbe hopes to prove that rural America can offer food found in larger cities. “I’m competitive and I want to outdo myself every day.”