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Murray's Corner Cafe opening Sept. 26

Murrays Corner ... From left: owners Edwin and Beth Murray will be working with manager Becky Eagle to serve their old and new customers at the cafe on top of the hill.

by Del Bartels

What used to be Murrays Coffee, Confections and More has moved its business location to southeast corner of the intersection of Highways 73 and 14.

The business hours for the new Murrays Corner will be 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sundays. Willard "Edwin" and Beth Murray will now be offering full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Their manager for the new business will be Becky Eagle.

The previous business at 103 N. Larimer, opened just four months ago on June 15, was closed on September 18 to give the Murrays time to do "some organizing, some painting to lighten up some areas, and checking equipment," said Beth.

The restaurant was previously operated by Dan and Theresa Walker from August 1993 to the middle of 1998. It was closed for several years and then became BJ's Corner. It re-opened in January of 2007 as Tanya's Drive Inn until April 30, 2009, when it was opened the next day as Grandpa Dan's Diner. It has been closed since June.

The Murrays, originally from Belton, MO, chose South Dakota because. "I like to hunt and this is a good place for retirement. The town is so friendly. We didn't have near this friendliness in Missouri," said Edwin. Beth said, "Edwin's baking skills were just exceptional and we should sell his creations. He needs to keep busy and isn't really meant to be retired."

Beth said, "We thought that there was a need for a coffee and bakery shop in the area. Now, in order to increase our income and improve business, we needed to have a larger building." "And a larger kitchen," added Edwin. The Murrays are planning to have four full-time and two part-time employees in their new sit-down restaurant.

The clientele will be waited on at the tables. "It will not be a fast food place. Everything will take at least a few minutes, but I think we will be pretty quick. We are planning to keep up with the school time lunch crowd," said Edwin. Beth added, "Yet we are striving to not lose any of the coffee people who like to sit with friends and visit." Their planned menu ranges from hamburgers, "really good hotdogs" and smoothies to homemade soup of the day during the winter. "We'll have everything off of our current menu, plus more, with specials on Friday and Saturday evenings," said Beth.

Murrays Corner will continue to have confections available everyday and an even larger selection of flavored coffees. It will still offer pre-ordered fresh baked bread and pre-ordered fresh baked pies. "We will also still have retail items, such as decorations, dolls, cup sets and jewelry," said Beth.

Edwin will be the breakfast cook and the baking person. Beth will be the bookkeeper and the back-up waitress, bus person, dishwasher, "but, I do not cook," she said. "We'll all wear many hats," said Edwin. "We have no objection to pre-scheduled parties or to meetings such as the chamber of commerce," said Beth.

To help with the decoration motif, the Murrays are asking for photos of anything to do with the local fire department. Edwin is retired from 20 years as a fireman in Missouri, and he was a volunteer fireman for 14 years before that. Pictures of local adults and children involved in fire department activities will be added to the current collection of helmets, hydrants, toy trucks and Edwin's retirement plaque of a gold fire axe.