Former Fayette Mayor and longtime UIU supporter Bill Dohrmann was provided the honor of cutting the ribbon to open the 4-H Clover Café during the first day of the Fayette County Fair Tuesday, July 20. Dohrmann and other community members were recognized for their generous support toward the extensive remodel of the longtime structure at the fairgrounds.
Among those pictured (above) during the ribbon-cutting ceremony were (l-r) Dohrmann, Fayette County Youth coordinator Michele Kelly, Fayette County Extension Council member Dalene Gosse, Fayette County Extension Council secretary and UIU associate professor of education Dawn Jacobsen, Fayette County Youth Development Committee member Angie Meyer and Fayette County Extension Council treasurer Dennis Lueder.
Additional information recently published about the Clover Cafe renovation project can be read below, with permission of Jack Swanson of Fayette County Newspapers.
New Clover Cafe cleared for opening at this year’s Fayette County Fair
It’s been a two-year wait but the Clover Café on the Fayette County Fairgrounds in West Union is finally ready for an unveiling and will be open for business for this year’s Fayette County Fair, July 20-24.
“People were disappointed that we couldn’t open last year, especially after all of the improvements, but we have to go by what the State extension guidelines are and last year because of the Covid, they told us not to open,” related ISU Extension Fayette County Youth Coordinator Michelle Kelly.
There was disappointment on two levels: one because they wouldn’t be able to enjoy all of the treats and food served at the Café, and two because it had been entirely rebuilt.
After the 2019 Fair, the original Clover Café was completely razed. Soon after, work started on the new 26 by 40-foot building. It also has a new cement pad eating area that was also expanded to 26 by 40-feet.
“We’re very excited about being able to be open. There’s going to be a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 20, during the Fair, starting at 2 p.m. At that time we want to recognize all of our donors. Without them, this never would have become a reality. The money to build this was all raised through our 4-H programs. No grant money played a part,” Kelly related.
She pointed out that the Café will continue to offer the regular food items including grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, pork chop on a stick, walking tacos, taco salad, Godfather’s pizza, and Country View yogurt.
The new Clover Café will open for the first time on Monday, July 19. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours for the rest of the week, until Saturday, will be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Jennifer Everitt is the Café manager, something she has done for the last 10 or more years. “We’re in the process of getting everything arranged. This new building gives us a lot more space. It’s also nice having windows so we can see what’s going on outside,” she said enthusiastically.
Instead of ordering, picking up items and paying through a window, customers now actually enter the café and will be directed along a large counter, ordering and receiving their food, before exiting through another door at the end of the counter line. This will be in an east to west direction through the building, which is handicapped accessible.
Kelly said there are a few things that are not yet completely done. “Like any project of this type and size there are additions and changes that still have to be made.”
Each 4-H club in the County will have a scheduled two-hour time period where they will be expected to have five members and two adults working.
“This really benefits our 4-H as a whole,” Kelly said.
The added room has allowed them to add a double door refrigerator, which has created extra space in the two pop coolers, where once refrigerated food ingredients had to be stored. Of course there is also room for extra pop, eliminating the use of an outside tub filled with ice for pop storage, and the mess that went along with it.
A new storage room is also part of the features. This eliminates the trailers that used to be parked nearby, filled with supplies.
The new building also has air conditioning, a real plus on a hot fair day.
The outside eating area has all new cement and was made bigger.
“We plan on having a normal year…a wonderful year. I ordered food in quantities that I typically would, and everything local. With the line up this year’s fair board has put together, we could have a phenomenal fair,” Kelly said in closing.