The beginning of Ness Cafe goes back over 100 years when two brothers, Carl and Andrew Ness, opened its doors in 1912. After 35 successful years, Carl’s son Bob and Bob’s wife Aimee took over the family business and continued running the restaurant until 1967. The family business was sold that year to Diane and Michael Hoeft and although a new family had taken over, the same tradition of homemade comfort food with the freshest ingredients continued. In 2004, the Hoeft’s daughter Stephanie, along with her husband, Tommy Helgeson, took over Ness Cafe and continue the tradition started by brothers Carl and Andrew all those years ago.
Having just four owners within two families since the beginning is what has kept the original vision of this restaurant staple in the heart of Minnesota intact to this day. Ness Cafe is a tried and true “oldie but goodie”.
Looking back on the history of the restaurant, the current owners realize there is no special ingredient or complicated recipe to their success. It all comes down to what really matters to their customers and that just happens to be a few “old-fashioned” things- comfort food, great service, and genuine community friendship.
Aimee Ness continues to work at the cafe one day a week and while Diane Hoeft is “semi-retired”, the pair still peels over 300 pounds of potatoes every week for french fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes and potato salad. How’s that for tradition?
Customers at Ness Cafe are treated like family whether it’s your first visit or you’re a long-time regular. Come enjoy a meal today!