BUTEE, N.D. (KXNET) — A historic and popular bar and restaurant in a small town are gone after a massive fire destroyed it.
The Dogden Steakhouse & Saloon in Butte which started in the 1930s fell to the flames, and it’s had a significant impact on the people there.
January 27 started as a devastating day for many, as the Butte Rural Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the middle of the night.
To their surprise, the Dogden Steakhouse & Saloon on Main Street was engulfed in flames, with black heavy smoke exiting the doors, walls, and roof.
Firefighters fought the flames for seven hours, and the community’s nightmare became a reality.
“It’s pretty devastating. I mean it was the main gathering place for people, the only place to eat in town” said Amy Nechiporenko, the mayor of Butte.
“Being able to meet your friends over there, being able to just be around your community and stuff with it over there at the same time. And just knowing that its a place that unfortunately you’re not gonna be able to have that same comradery that you had in there,” said Chad Holdeman, a long-time resident of Butte.
The Dogden Steakhouse & Saloon has been in the community for generations.
The ceiling, the walls, and the items inside are all burned to the ground. But the one thing that hasn’t turned to ash, is the memories people will keep forever.
June Weidman, a resident of Butte said “You know, being around people and getting to know them and socializing. The bar was a good place to go socializing and play BINGO!”
“My biggest memory was the previous owner, Wayne Schatz, him and my youngest son Michael, they really got along really well and they would chase each other around the bar. They shared a birthday pretty close to each other, so they were always goofing around, giving each other birthday spankings,” Holdeman added.
Farmers, ranchers, and longtime residents will have to travel 30 miles for entertainment now.
Residents say since 1936, the bar has fueled the economy in the town of 70 people.
“It’s one less business with a small town that’s here as well. So, that’s one that you’re not gonna have some of the influx of people that come into town the same that we have before and it’s just one of those that it’s another thing that we have to travel further away from our small community in order to do any type of entertainment or leisurely activities,” said Holdeman.
So many things went up in smoke that day, but locals say they will never forget all the good times that were had there.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and the State Fire Marshal is helping with the investigation.