April 6, 2017

Fire destroys The Open Door Cafe
An early-morning fire in downtown Menno destroyed The Open Door Cafe on Fifth Street in Menno Monday, April 3. Firefighters from five communities – Menno, Freeman, Lesterville, Scotland and Yankton – fought the blaze for hours in an attempt to extinguish the flames and protect the two adjacent buildings – Menno Mercantile and the building that houses Bierle Insurance and The Cutting Edge. While those buildings primarily suffered only smoke damage, The Open Door Cafe was a total loss. The building, built in 1947, served as the home to several businesses but began operation as a cafe in 1968. The current owners, Jerome and Rita Hoff, purchased the business in 1986. The cafe was a central gathering place on Fifth Street, where it offered daily lunch specials, a senior nutrition program and social area where community organizations often held meetings. The remains of the building were demolished late Monday afternoon.

For more images from the fire, click here.