SPINK, S.D.-Sunday evening fire crews were called to a beloved cafe in rural South Dakota. The Spink Cafe was engulfed in flames. Despite the fire crew members’ efforts, the local favorite suffered severe damage.
“First of all, I was concerned about the proprietors because I know that’s their livelihood. Second of all, where am I going to get a quick lunch? Ha,” said Arlo Lykken, a location manager at Valley Ag Supply.
Lykken was a regular at Spink Cafe. It’s a place just down the road from work and home.
“When I go there and bring my kids and grandkids, I don’t really worry about their behavior because it’s such a homey atmosphere you just feel comfortable,” said Lykken.
The Spink Cafe is a family-owned restaurant that brought the community together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“There are some locals that would come in for coffee every morning, and in the wintertime, there would be some card playing going on,” said Lykken.
You could always find Janelle O’ Connor and her long-time friend Carol Welch sitting at their usual table.
“I went there Wednesday through Saturday usually in the morning and talk and play cards,” said Welch.
“I mean we would have meetings there. We would have coffee there. It’s just the best place,” said O’Connor.
It’s a small town cafe that drew in people for miles across Siouxland.
“My grandkids grew up there. My kids grew up there. We all just loved to go there and anytime we could go we would go. We used to go three times a day. I mean, that’s a lot of time and a lot of food,” said O’Connor.
As the memories begin to unfold in their minds of the great times at Spink Cafe, community members have hope for a new beginning.
“It would really be fortunate if they could fix up or rebuild to have something in the community. But, you know, any kind of investment like that is not going to be easy, but I think they have a lot of community support,” said Lykken.
The Elk Point Fire marshal was at the restaurant inspecting the restaurant’s damages from the fire. Since then, the family has boarded up the restaurant.