The Dakota Café open for business with a familiar face

Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm


The Dakota Café open for

business with a familiar face

What was once known as Sutton’s Café is now The Dakota Café in Finley.

Having many transformations throughout the years, Sutton’s Café was owned by Julia and Lou Sutton and was sold in the early 1970s to Tryg and Fran Hanson and became Tryg’s Tavern. Later becoming Mom & Dad’s Tavern followed by Mom’s Tavern owned by Donna Busch, and eventually becoming Rumors Tavern and the Playpen, a place for children to hang out and play games.

“It’s neat that after all these years what was once a café is finally returning,” said Rumors Tavern owner, Stephanie Stein who holds a special place in her heart for the café.

Stein’s grandmother, June Sutton worked as a waitress at Sutton’s Café and that’s where she met her future husband, Marvin Grotte in July of 1951. By November 1951 Marvin and June were married.

Steins idea for serving food first started in the Playpen after her son, Raymond, completed his college career in Wahpeton for culinary. But in the summer of 2012, just around the time when Finley lost its Café, she received some friendly inspiration.

“A subcontractor named Kenny who was working and living in the area mentioned to me about serving quick noon meals, and that’s where everything began,” said Stein.

She started out serving a different special five days a week and wanted to offer a little bit more to customers while still keeping the quick meal time available.

That’s when her friend and former Finley Café owner, Christina Handley came to visit from Oregon and she made her an offer Handley couldn’t refuse.

“She first asked me about moving back to Finley while I was here visiting for Finley Days, I wasn’t sure if she was serious. As I was driving back to Oregon I had to stop at a rest stop in Jamestown and call Stephanie to see if she was really serious. When she told me she was, I realized I have missed cooking and baking so much that I made the decision right then and there to return,” said Handley.

The two have expanded their menu, serving one daily special as well as a soup and sandwich special.

“We’ve added a few new items to our specials, we also serve kumla once a month, and soon we will be serving deep fried items,” said Stein.

For Handley being back in the kitchen is somewhat bittersweet.

“I’ve always enjoying cooking and baking, taking a few years off was fun but it’s nice to get back into the kitchen again,” she smiled. “And our customers who’ve stopped in have made me feel very welcome once again, and that is a great feeling.”

The Dakota Café is also open early every morning thanks to its loyal patron, John “JB” Brager who begins making the coffee at 6:30 AM Monday through Friday and 7 AM on Saturdays.

“Breakfast menus are available in the mornings, we also make baked goods. All baking orders must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. We even have a birthday club, where you will receive a free cupcake on Friday of your birth week,” said Handley.

The ladies at The Dakota Café invite you to follow them on Facebook to receive daily alerts of specials or stop in and pick up a to-go menu.