GOESSEL — Meals will once again be served in Goessel's The Branding Iron Cafe, but the menu — and hours — will be completely different.
Joyce Dirks and Ruthanne Wells will cook and serve family-style dinners on Friday and Saturday nights at the cafe, 106 N. Cedar in Goessel.
"We are basically going to do meat and potatoes, country-style meals," Dirks said.
Each dinner will include an entree, sides, rolls, pie and a drink for a fixed price.
"I know what I want ... someplace I can go and sit down and have a home-cooked meal," Dirks said. "You don't find that just anywhere."
Both Wells and Dirks grew up cooking for their Mennonite families and want to offer those traditional dishes to their customers.
"This is a Mennonite community, and you really can't just go and get Mennonite food," Dirks said.
That doesn't mean, however, that they will be sticking to an exact recipe.
"I add a little of this and a little of that — however much looks right," Dirks said.
While Dirks and Wells have been friends for years, each had a different motivation for wanting to see the restaurant reopen.
"I just can't handle it when I see something cute like this is sitting empty," Dirks said.
Dirks also wants to use her expertise as a gardener to add flowers to the area around the cafe and vegetables into the dishes she serves.
"I want to do garden-fresh stuff during the season," Dirks said.
Wells said she appreciates both working with people — her first job as a teenager was waitressing for a cafe — and that running a restaurant will play into her passion for baking.
"I love baking late at night, when it's quiet," Wells said. "It's kind of like therapy for me."
"She's the best pie-maker in the county," Dirks added.
Wells said she makes peanut butter, coconut cream, chocolate mousse, sour cream raisin and fruit pies on a regular basis.
"I love to mix different fruits together and see what it tastes like," Wells said.
If the weekend dinners do will, Wells and Dirks may add Sunday brunch or Saturday breakfast options for diners.
"I make cinnamon rolls and kolaches," Dirks said.
Dirks also envisions local musicians playing in the evenings on the lawn in front of the cafe.