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The 59-er truck stop cafe is back under new ownership

The 59-er is a burger with jalapenos, onions and pepper jack cheese. Emily Driscoll / Tribune1 / 4
The 59-er truck stop cafe recently re-opened with new owners after it was closed for several months. Emily Driscoll / Tribune2 / 4
The 59-er truck stop cafe recently re-opened with new owners after it was closed for several months. Emily Driscoll / Tribune3 / 4
The 59-er truck stop cafe recently re-opened with new owners after it was closed for several months. Emily Driscoll / Tribune4 / 4

Despite its down-home charm and convenience for truckers, the 59'er Truck Stop Cafe has struggled as a business model for the past two decades, closing and opening on more than one occasion.

The truck stop last closed in September and then re-opened the motel and diner on Wednesday, May 2.

The original concept for the location was to provide a place for truckers to fuel up, have a

home-cooked meal and stay the night.

Now, it is both a trucker haven and an eccentric spot for locals and travellers to eat and stay.

It's a plethora of services combined into one, a handful for any qualified business owner, but new owners Jackie and Tim Collins seem confident that this will be the last time the 59-er will have to re-open its doors.

They are currently awaiting approval from the bank to officially possess the cafe off Highway 59.

"It's going really well on the restaurant side so far, and we already have checked in guests," Jackie said, "we don't expect any issues getting approved."

Beginning in January, they upgraded the motel rooms, redid the cafe's menu and brought new ideas to their recent endeavor.

They offer all-day breakfast, a full salad and soup bar, and lunch and dinner options including an 8oz ribeye steak.

After the 59'er closed down last fall, there was skepticism about its revival. Facebook reviewers wrote scathing comments about burnt food and terrible service from years past.

With nearly 30 years of service industry experience, the Collins are hoping to return the truck stop cafe to its glory days.

They remodeled the 12 upper level motel rooms with new flat screen TVs, furniture, appliances, linens, sinks, vanities, drapes and more.

Jackie, who first worked in a waffle house in 1990, is excited about her homemade sausage gravy, caramel rolls and their most popular breakfast item: eggs benedict.

She spends a lot of time behind the grill, determined to ensure excellent quality until they get their feet on the ground.

"When the place closed down last September, they still had a lot of regulars," Collins said. "Now they're happy to be back."

She is already seeing familiar faces return.

The diner operates from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and they offer daily, weekly and monthly motel stay rates for guests.

The convenience store and gas pumps are still undergoing updates but could be operational by July, according to Collins.

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

To book a stay or inquire about large group reservations, call 218-847-3939. The phone number currently listed on google is out of service.

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