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Bird Dawg Cafe goes loco

Local family rebrands restaurant, adds Mexican fare


October 24, 2022

The Loco Ketchup Cafe family stands outside the cafe. From left to right- back row: Malaki Sifuentes-Kukowsi, Iram Sifuentes-Becerra, LaRae Sifuentes, Maggie Wobbema (employee) and Miley Sifuentes; front: Andres Sifuentes and Arilynn Gehrtz

One of New Rockford's favorite dining destinations, the Bird Dawg Cafe, is undergoing an exciting rebrand, complete with a new name and logo, as well as new and diverse menu options.

LaRae (Gehrtz) Sifuentes, a native of New Rockford, is currently in the process of taking ownership of the restaurant, which has now been named the "Loco Ketchup Cafe."

Sifuentes described a fun and wholesome story behind the new name, involving Dennis Gehrtz, her father, and Brad Reisonour, the cafe's current owner.

"Brad used to call my dad 'Ketchup' every time he came here," recalled Sifuentes. "So I always kinda knew that I wanted to incorporate that somewhere."

Gehrtz unfortunately passed away in December 2020, but the new name will keep alive and well a pleasant memory from his family's history with the cafe.

As for the "loco" part of the name, Sifuentes said it came from her children, who had originally suggested calling the business, "The Crazy Family Cafe," before agreeing on "loco" instead.

The new name is full of family meaning, and Sifuentes said that's what this new rebrand is all about.

"I want to keep it a family restaurant," she said. "Something my kids can come back to one day and ... something my kids can bring their kids too. I just want to have that family staple."

Sifuentes, who's had a passion for cooking since childhood, is also looking forward to bringing more diversity to the kinds of food available in New Rockford.

In 2017, she married Iram Sifuentes-Becerra, a native of Mexico who has since introduced her to all kinds of delicious Mexican cuisine. And she intends to share some of that cuisine right here with the local community.

Some of that can already be seen in the specials the cafe has recently offered, such as Pozole, a traditional Mexican soup dish.

"We already have a bunch of good burger places, so what would make us different from any of them?" said Sifuentes on why she's adding Mexican food to the menu. "... people from New Rockford go to Devils Lake all the time to eat Mexican food, so it's just a needed thing."

One of the options Sifuentes hopes to bring to the menu is Mexican pizza, but don't worry if you're still a fan of their regular options. Sifuentes said little, if anything at all, will be removed from the current menu.

"I don't see anything leaving the menu," she said. "I just see more additions to it."

Another change, which many residents will have already noticed, is that Sifuentes intends to keep the Loco Ketchup Cafe open for most of the year.

This winter they'll be closed for the holidays - from Dec. 20 to Jan. 20 - during which time they'll be making some design changes to the building itself, giving it a fresh new look for the new year.

Other than that, however, customers will be able to drop by for a delicious meal year-round.

The Loco Ketchup Cafe is open Tuesday - Saturday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., and customers can place their orders over the phone by calling (701) 947-5781.


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