Historic cafe in danger

FORT HALL—The Fort Hall Cafe on Highway 91 is the oldest operating
business within the boundaries of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and
owner Ginger Blevins does not want to see it close.
However, a sluggish economy the past few years has Blevin struggling to keep the doors open.
The building, on the grounds of the original Fort Hall townsite, was built
in 1918. It served as the Wigwam Bar back in the 50’s and 60’s until the reservation went dry. It then served as a bustling restaurant and coffee shop for locals and those passing through town.
Blevins has owned the business for 20 years but has worked at the cafe
even longer.
“I started as a cook years ago. The owner put it up for sale and I bought it at a really good price,” she said. “This used to be the only place in town to eat and I did a great business. Now, there are more places to eat in Fort Hall and the poor economy hasn’t helped. People have had to tighten their belts.”
However, Blevin still believes her cafe fills a niche in the community
as one of the few places around that still serves ‘real’ home cooked food.
“There aren’t too many ‘mom and pop’ restaurants like this open anymore,”
she said. “I make fresh hamburgers cooked to order and homemade
soups from scratch.” Blevins said that while she does have her dedicated customers, she is hoping that Fort Hall and surrounding communities
will step up and support the business so that she can keep the doors to the old cafe open. She is looking into the possibility of applying for grant money to help restore and operate the historical building.
“I love my cafe. I love what I’m doing. It would break my heart
to have to close this place down,” she said.
The Fort Hall Cafe is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with
indoor dining and a takeout available. For more information call 238-0735.