Time to move

Toni’s Depot to reopen at new location after renovations

Photo by Deb Gau Toni’s Depot employees took lunch orders from customers on Tuesday, but the menu was limited in preparation for a move.

MARSHALL — Lunchtime customers were lining up to place orders at Toni’s Depot, but the crowd was smaller than usual, restaurant owner Ross Taveirne said.

“It’s been kind of slow,” Taveirne said Tuesday. It wasn’t a big surprise, however. As the Cattoor’s Sinclair station on West Main Street got closer to closing down, Toni’s Depot had also been limiting its menu and getting ready to leave.

“It’s going to be different, but it’s also kind of exciting,” Taveirne said.

This month, customers at the Cattoor’s station have seen signs announcing that the gas station’s last day of operation is today. Toni’s Depot will be closing too, but not permanently. Taveirne said the restaurant is headed for the former Mike’s Cafe location on East College Drive. Mike’s closed in October.

“I’m definitely going to miss this place,” said Minneota resident Royal Hettling. Royal and his wife Karen Hettling had stopped at Toni’s Depot for lunch on Tuesday.

“A lot of times when we come to town, we stop here,” Karen Hettling said.

Toni’s location on West Main Street was convenient for people traveling along Highway 68, and it was a good place to get a quick meal in Marshall, the Hettlings said.

Royal Hettling said they would still visit the new Toni’s location, but it would be sad to see the Cattoor station closed.

“The gas station has been here ever since I can remember,” he said.

It was like a piece of local history, he said.

Taveirne said plans to move Toni’s Depot to East College Drive really started up this spring, and he began renovations at the former Mike’s building.

“It was the right decision,” he said, because the news came that the Cattoor’s station would be closing.

Toni’s Depot has operated out of its West Main Street location since 1996. Before that, Toni’s founder Frank Schultz operated Toni’s Pizza on East College Drive.

By moving to East College Drive, Taveirne said, “Technically we’re kind of going back home, just down the block from where Toni’s Pizza stood.”

Taveirne said it was a strange feeling to be leaving Toni’s longtime location on West Main Street. But at the same time, the move would bring new possibilities.

“We always talked about wanting more space over the years,” Taveirne said. “We love this location, but we outgrew it.”

The former cafe building would allow more space for cooking and food preparation — for example, Taveirne said he’d be able to bake bread during business hours instead of having to do all the day’s baking early in the morning. There would also be more room for seating, and for customers to pick up orders.

Taveirne said renovations were coming along well at the new location. He didn’t know for certain when Toni’s will reopen. He hoped for an opening date in June or July, but that would depend a lot on whether there were any delays in construction or materials.

The new restaurant won’t be a return of Mike’s Cafe. Toni’s Depot will focus on doing what they do best, Taveirne said. However, he said he had received a lot of positive feedback.

“It’s always good to hear,” he said.


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