A Journey Through Time: Ohm’s Cafe

4 mins read

EST. 1946

Since Ohm’s Cafe’s opening in 1946, this family-owned eatery has not only provided a cozy gathering space for the locals but has also become a landmark in the ever-changing landscape of the food industry. In this article, we delve into the story of Ohm’s Cafe, exploring its journey through the decades, the challenges it has overcome, and the factors contributing to its remarkable longevity.

The Beginning of Ohm’s Journey

Ohm’s Cafe first opened its doors in 1946, marking the start of a legacy that would span over seven decades to date. Casey Keller, the current owner, states that her grandparents bought Ohm’s Cafe from the previous owners, the Schaefer’s, around 1996. Passing the business from one family to another means more to Keller than it may to other business owners in the community.

“I think the fact that it has always been family-owned separates Ohm’s Cafe from a lot of businesses in the Bismarck-Mandan community,” Keller said. “Not just our family personally, but each ownership has consisted of family members working together with one another and keeping that family aspect close to the core of the business’ values.”

This familial involvement extends beyond mere management; it’s about preserving a legacy. “To this day, my grandmother comes in when we’re closed and makes the cheese buttons and more, which makes work coming to that much more meaningful, and the fact that it’s been like that for generations in this building is so special,” Keller said. This handover of the baton from one family to another exemplifies a tradition of community and continuity that is central to Ohm’s Cafe’s identity.

Casey’s personal journey with Ohm’s Cafe showcases the deep-rooted connections that Ohm’s Cafe fosters within the Bismarck-Mandan community. Having been involved with the cafe since the young age of 12, Casey’s life has been intricately woven with the cafe’s history. “I’ve been working on and off for Ohm’s Cafe since I was 12 years old, which will make it 2 decades this year,” Keller said. This long-standing relationship with the cafe highlights the depth of commitment and passion that drives Ohm’s Cafe forward.

Adapting to Changing Times

Throughout its history, Ohm’s Cafe has seen its fair share of changes, adapting to the evolving needs of its customers while maintaining its core essence. “Since reopening on January 10 after some recent updating and remodeling, we’ve added liquor sales to the business to get a bit more of a dinner crowd through the doors,” Keller said. “Other than that, we’re still doing breakfast all day and offering Ohm’s Cafe’s same great specials, soups, desserts, and much more!”

This addition aims to broaden the cafe’s appeal, inviting a new demographic while still serving its long-standing customers with the same beloved breakfast specials and homemade desserts.

"There are still plenty of people in the Bismarck-Mandan area, as well as outside of town, who either don't know about Ohm's Cafe or don't know that it's a local. Family-owned restaurant they can support. Much of our clientle consists of older farmers who have been eating here since the hamburgers were 5 cents a piece. And yet, after all these years, they're bringing their grandkids and great-grandkids, which is very heat warming to see."

Despite these changes, Casey emphasizes the importance of maintaining the cafe’s familiar atmosphere. “We’re not trying to change the feel of the place at all. We like how everything has been running and since reopening, it’s all gone over very well so far,” Keller said. This balance between innovation and tradition in Ohm’s Cafe allows it to remain a beloved spot for both old and new patrons.

The intertwining of tradition and change is a delicate balance that Ohm’s Cafe has pursued over the years. While the cafe has undergone physical remodeling and menu expansions, the essence of what makes Ohm’s a beloved community spot remains untouched. “We plan on keeping that classic family atmosphere that Ohm’s Cafe has always been proud to have,” Keller said.

Community Involvement and Social Responsibility

Ohm’s Cafe extends its influence beyond the confines of its four walls. As a business deeply rooted in the Mandan community, it plays a role in local events and activities among regulars. The cafe has become a go-to spot for local gatherings, whether it’s a morning meet-up among friends or an impromptu family dinner.

“Our regulars have been coming in here because of the older generations and their families, so we’re hoping to reignite that spark again with generations to come,” Keller said.

Did You Know?

Ohm’s Cafe originally began as a potato chip factory that transitioned into a Bismarck-Mandan staple cafe!

Looking Towards the Future: Ohm’s Cafe’s Vision

As Ohm’s Cafe moves forward, there’s a palpable sense of optimism about the future. “My fiancé and I, who recently took over the business, are very excited about the future of Ohm’s Cafe,” Keller said.

The cafe prides itself on its home-cooked meals and the intimate, familial atmosphere it offers. “This year, I will have been involved in the business for twenty years, so keeping it in the family means a lot to me,” Keller said.

“I know how things have run and will continue to run, and we plan on keeping that classic family atmosphere that Ohm’s Cafe has always been proud to have. Furthermore, we plan to continue offering our classic dishes and specials that our customers have loved for years.”

Building A Legacy on Community Ties

Looking ahead, Ohm’s Cafe aims to strengthen its ties with the Mandan community. This involves not only serving great food but also being an integral part of the community’s fabric. Whether it’s through local events, collaborations with other businesses, or simply being a place where people can come together, Ohm’s intends to reinforce its role as a community dining hub.

From its humble beginnings in 1946 to its current status as a beloved local landmark, the cafe has woven itself into the tapestry of Mandan’s history. Under the stewardship of Keller, Ohm’s Cafe is poised to continue its legacy, blending the rich traditions of the past with the vibrant possibilities of the future. As Casey puts it, “That’s what pushes us forward and makes coming in every day an exciting time.”

n Ohm’s Cafe, the community of Mandan has not just a restaurant, but a living piece of its history, continually evolving and growing with each passing year.

Ohm’s Cafe

Facebook | /OhmsCafe
808 W Main St,
Mandan, ND 58554