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59er Cafe to open soon

DETROIT LAKES - Soon to become the only sit-down truck stop café in town, the 59er Café hopes to open mid-April with a new menu, new staff and hopefully new grill, too.

"We are tentatively shooting for April 15 to open," remarked 59er Manager Artie Tallman. "It all depends when we get our new grill."

Rita Coalwell owns the 59er as a whole. Tallman has been manager of the convenience store and motel portions for the past two years and is now taking over the café side as well.

With over 27 years of restaurant, truck stop and convenience store experience, the veteran manager says she is excited to carve out a new kind of truck stop café for the lakes area.

"We have a great new staff on board and a few familiar faces returning, too," explained Tallman. "I am looking forward to working on this side of the 59er."

Completing the 59er's transformation into a true truck stop haven, a variety of new cooks were added to the mix.

"We hired a new head cook, Pam Carlsrud," said Tallman. "She used to be the head cook out at the Rothsay Truck Stop and brings with her 25 years of experience. She is also a great baker. We are excited to have all the homemade cookies, pastries and pies."

Closed since Feb. 1, Tallman noted they spent their time in the interim preparing the building to re-open.

A lot of cleaning, painting and remodeling got accomplished over the last month or so, said Tallman, which was all in the family. Helping out with some of the remodel project is Artie's husband, Mike Tallman.

"I'm just a grunt," he jokes. "I basically do what she tells me to."

"He is my right hand man, really. We've been busy doing a lot of painting and installing new equipment," explained Artie Tallman. "We have a new grill and sandwich maker coming soon too."

Tallman added new hours are also part of the new and improved 59er Café. When the restaurant re-opens in April, it will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"Truckers barely get off the road by 7 p.m. That's when the café used to close," commented Mike Tallman.

"We are staying open an hour later, that's what the truckers were telling us they wanted," relayed Artie Tallman. "We might even stay open later once we get into the swing of things. We'll have to see what the summer brings."

The 59er is hoping to offer daily specials and become a true sit-down café.

"We want to offer sit-down food and feature a different special every day just like the old Grover's Truck Stop Café use to do," remarked Artie. "We also will be an Internet café when we re-open."

Other offers they are cooking up include half-off meals for truck drivers who purchase 100 gallons of gas or more and half-off meals for people staying at the motel.

With more than 10 staffers, including wait staff and cooks presently on board, Tallman's truck stop venue is gathering full steam.

"We want to be an old-fashioned sit-down café. A place where anyone can get a good meal and truck drivers can get something besides just another fast food burger."

The 59er Café is located at 19389 Frontage Road, just off of U.S. Highway 59, north of Detroit Lakes.