Feeling rejuvenated form the short bout of sunshine, I grabbed my gas station coffee, jumped in the car, and drove south from Sioux Falls on 1-29 to Alcester.
I began at Arlene’s Sunny Side Cafe. As I walked in, I noticed a group of ladies sitting around a table drinking coffee and talking about the latest goings-on. Right away I knew this was a weekly, if not daily, occurrence at the local eatery.
ALCESTER WAS EST. IN 1879.
ARLENE’S SUNNY SIDE CAFE
Owner Dan Waag met me and began telling me about the history of Arlene’s.
“My mom was working across the street at the Corner Café, and when the bank bought the land, they moved her over here, which is where it has been since 1994,” said Waag.
After returning home from Montana, Waag teamed up with his sister to keep the restaurant going, homemade pies and all.
“Something we do that I don’t think a lot of places do is make our own
meringue for our fresh-baked pies,” explained Waag.
Besides pie, Waag swears by the Slider, which is two eggs, hashbrowns, and toast topped with sausage gravy.
“It depends on what time of the day you stop by for the best seller, but I think there is too much variety to pick my favorite,” said Waag.
Pulling myself away from the still-warm pumpkin pie, I walked half a block to Your Daily Dose, the Alcester drug store.
ARLENE’S MENU INCLUDES:
> CROISSANTS & WRAPS
> SOUPS & SALADS
ITS MOTTO IS “SMALL TOWN TREASURE.”
YOUR DAILY DOSE
What I thought would be a store with cold medicine, greeting cards, and knick-knacks was much more.
I made my way to the coffee shop section and found manager Cindy Peterson. Busy making coffee and chatting with locals, she handed me a caramel latte and sat me down to tell me about the store, Alcester, and the community.
“This is the place where you can find a little bit of everything—gifts, décor, coffee, floral. You name it,” said Peterson.
Besides a coffee shop, Your Daily Dose includes a home décor section, clothing options, a flower shop, and a drug store.
“Our pharmacy acts as a drop-off site, so people from Canton will stop by twice a day to bring medicine to people in the community,” said Peterson.
We continued to talk about the new spring items, the adorable baby accessories, and what it means to have a space like this in a small town.
“It’s just so fun when an elderly group comes in. They share so much and it’s so fun to listen to the stories they tell,” beamed Peterson.
Wrapping up and asking her for directions, I took my latte and mosied down Highway 11 to the Alcester Golf Club.
ALCESTER WAS NAMED AFTER COLONEL ALCESTER OF THE BRITISH ARMY.
ALCESTER GOLF CLUB
Pulling into the parking lot, I noticed a couple die-hard linksters before making my way to the clubhouse.
Clubhouse manager Kathy Joseph, groundskeeper Dale Jorgensen, and golf course superintendent Landon Nygard invited me to sit down and chat about the course.
“It’s a nine-hole course, par 34, and it’s pretty flat with not a lot of hills,” explained Nygard.
The three went on to discuss when the golf course originally started, and while an exact year was never pinned down, they all agreed it has been a community staple as long as they can remember.
“There are no tee times, and we just want people to be polite when playing. Now that the weather is nicer, we will start having our leagues; men’s on Tuesdays and women’s on Thursdays,” said Nygard.
I marveled at the pictures and plaques that furnished the walls with history and character while Joseph told me about the new clubhouse they are expecting.
She explained, “We are due for a new one, and it’s in the works. It will go up by the high school track and we’re really excited for the project to begin.”