Nestled in the wee town of River Falls, population around 10,000, lies a treasured place no one knows exists. To it’s regulars, it’s a haven. What would they do if they couldn’t get their 6 a.m. pot of coffee or a conversation with a friend they most likely said the exact same words to yesterday morning? This hidden paradise, named South Fork Café, or to others, The Fork.
When you enter the Fork, you see what might be perceived as a cheap attempt at a fancy restaurant. The carpet screams to be replaced. It’s blue hues and purple diamonds ache with each step of a person’s foot. Moving past the door and looking to the right, there are two window tables that face Main Street. One of the tables, if you happen to be in at 10 a.m., is occupied by Johnny, otherwise known as “Johnny in the window”. The name was given to him by the waitresses for his loyalty to the window table. His mullet hairstyle and sleeveless shirts, arms covered with tattoos of “Debbie”, “Donna”, and “Marie” done by himself, are a tough cover up for the little teddy bear inside. But, you wouldn’t want to steal his seat. Continuing leftward, a chain of eight booths line the left wall. Recently upholstered, the new pink color genuinely clashes with its friend, the carpet. The color is like the dresses worn by Laura Ingalls in “Little House”—a poor, dirty pink. All 8 boot!
hs seem to be filled. These spots are like the front row seats to a Beatles concert. People who sit here are those who get a first look at the newcomer through the doors. On the outside of each booth is a metal coat hanger; an added bonus to make people feel like they’re at home. You notice an old, green denim coat hanging by booth five and ask Emmy, a waitress, about it. “Oh it’s been there for about 3 months now,” she answered. How could someone forget their winter coat, you ask? Emmy answered, “You’d be surprised w