Something everyone wanted
March 15, 2018
BURNS - Locals streamed in and out of Burns' newest business as owner Cody Ipsen added the finishing touches Tuesday afternoon.
A mix of a general store, restaurant and place to hang out, The Butcher's Pantry on Main Street opened its doors last week for a soft opening. A grand opening is set for Saturday.
Renovating the 101-year-old building where Butcher's Pantry was a personal project for Ipsen, a semi-retired construction worker who spent his career "flipping houses."
"I loved it," he said. "This is one we've planned on hanging on to for a while."
Walking into the business, one quickly gets a taste of Ipsen's knack for carpentry.
It's in his blood.
"My dad is one of 14 kids and they've all been carpenters," Ipsen said.
Counters built from reclaimed wood contribute to the restaurant's rustic aesthetic.
And that's appropriate given the location's history, which has played host to two butcher shops among other businesses, which is where it got its name.
When Ipsen renovated the building, he removed several layers of flooring until he found the original wooden floor.
"We pulled four layers up just to find it," Ipsen said.
Patrons enjoying a milkshake or cup of coffee can sit at a bar containing hundreds of pennies under laminate. Ipsen purchased several pennies from 1917 representing the year the building was built.
As he finished his work Tuesday, customers told Ipsen they were thrilled to see The Butcher's Pantry open for business. It's something many in the town of 300 have anticipated for the past two or so years.
When Ipsen and his wife, Melissa, purchased the building, they weren't sure what they were going to do.
So they asked the town.
"Everybody wanted a little restaurant to open up, so that's what we did," he said.
Being a small town, word got around quickly that the Ipsens were opening the restaurant. Ipsen said the community patiently waited, but there were frequent inquiries about the opening date.
It was worth the wait. Being open for less than a week, Ipsen said the community has been highly supportive so far. There are already a couple menu items that are clear hits like the Italian sandwich.
Ipsen said the menu is his wife's creation.
Because the building doesn't have a ventilation hood in the kitchen, the Ipsens are unable to serve certain items common to local diners like hamburgers and fries.
But they're taking advantage of that.
The menu consists of various sandwiches and pizzas. Anyone looking for a quick bite for lunch can order pizza by the slice.
There's also a decent selection for breakfast including classics like breakfast burritos and biscuits and gravy.
The Ipsens also serve various milkshakes and malts. Coffee drinkers will feel at home with a selection of espresso drinks or regular Joe.
"We have a homemade banana split," Ipsen said.
The Butcher's Pantry on Main will also serve as a place for kids to hang out or work on their studies. It boasts an air hockey table among other games. Ipsen is looking to install a bench for Burns students to work on their homework or study.
Shoppers can stop in to grab certain necessities like sugar or flour.
Ipsen said he's aware that it's hard to make a business survive with most small town businesses lasting more than a few years. But he's grateful for the support from the community and is proud to play a part in something the town needed.
Judging by customers' reactions Tuesday, he has a strong chance of making it work.