Spearfish Lake Cafe

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The Spearfish Lake Café is one of the two regular meeting places and locations to find out the local gossip in Spearfish Lake (the other one being Rick's Cafe).

The Spearfish Lake Café was a breakfast-lunch place that mostly catered to working people and retirees, even though the hours had been expanded mostly to be able to take care of breakfast and lunch for the employees of the plywood plant, the town’s largest employer. It was very typical for such a place; there is one or more of them in virtually every small town in the country. Locally owned, it had a rustic, used appearance. It didn’t have the slick decor of a chain place; the walls were decorated with mounted fish and stuffed deer heads, and between them hung calendars and sports schedules, sometimes for seasons long expired. It was a “down home” place in every sense of the word.SK6

The Cafe is next to the railroad crossing of Central Avenue, not far from the state road.SQ22 It's not unusual to have the train crew call the railroad office on the radio to order lunch, and the office calls the Cafe, and one of the cafe waitresses meets the train at the crossing and hands the bags of food up to the crew in exchange for money.

"The café usually didn’t close till ten, but if things were slow they had been known to knock off earlier."SK2

Frequent Customers

As George Webb (the publisher of the Spearfish Lake Record-Herald) tends to go to Rick's, Mike McMahon (the editor) tends to go to the Spearfish Lake Cafe. Sometimes they switch.

John Archer often had breakfast there. "It was good for business – a casual question or two about taxes or something could often lead to a consultation at the office and the fee that went along with it. He considered it advertising, although he never had quite been able to justify it as a business expense on a tax return."SK6

The "dog town gang" would occasionally be there: Phil, Josh, Tiffany, Duane and "even Candice, which was a little rare"PE7 but that probably was a tradition that started because it was where George Lindquist first told Mike McMahon about an experiences dog sledders.BAR30