Cohn’s Cafe to Open in Repurposed Historic Temple Building on September 1

Tracy and Kathy Dancer purchased the Scottish Rite Temple at the Bourbon County Tax Sale in January 2022.

The former Scottish Rite Temple at 110 S. Main is being repurposed by Tracy and Kathy Dancer.
Tracy and Kathy Dancer in the entrance to 110 S. Main, now called Mercantile and Market and Cohn’s Cafe.

Since the purchase of the historic building in downtown Fort Scott, the Dancers  opened a Mercantile and Market at 110 S. Main in February 2023 and in the next few weeks will be opening a cafe in an adjoining room.

“The shop is called Mercantile and Market and Cohn’s Cafe,” Kathy said. “It was run from 1926 to 1948 by Sidney Cohn and his wife as a cafe, in the exact space.” The cafe is adjacent, south, to the mercantile.

For many years, the space was used for fundraisers for Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs.

This week, they will have a reservation only preview, no walk-in patrons, from August 22-26.

The grand opening to the rest of the public is September 1.

Kathy Dancer in the Cohn’s Cafe, at 110 S. Main.

The preview this week is to train new staff.

“This will be to train new staff on the menu,” she said. “To give our staff a chance to adjust things before we open. This is practice so when we do our grand opening, we will be prepared.”

There are 10 employees, not counting Tracy and Kathy.

The business phone number is 620-418-6209.
Hours are 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with cafe table service.
From 2-6 p.m. (during the mercantile hours)one can order take-away food and drinks.
On Sunday the cafe will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Customers will be able to call or text for reservations,” Kathy said.  “We will also accept call-in orders for grab-and-go from the cooler.
Customers will be able to pick up these orders until 5:45 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.”


The cafe will use locally sourced ingredients to make fresh breakfast and lunch dishes: quiche, crepes, bakery items, salad, soup, sandwiches, and other featured meals, plus drinks.

The meats, eggs, and veggies are lined up from local suppliers and the menu will be adjusted based on seasonal availability, she said.

The current Cohn’s Cafe menu.

On the horizon for the cafe are syrups made from local orchards and additionally a tea service.

Kathy will be starting a tea pot collection to begin a tea service in the cafe. Here are some of her antique tea pots on display in the cafe.

“It will be a pot of tea that comes with scones, biscuits, and tea sandwiches,” she said. “We will be starting a tea pot collection for our tea service.”

People will pay for the meal in the mercantile section, much like a Cracker Barrel Restaurant.

Following a conversation with a downtown resident, the cafe will be selling milk, eggs and bread from a cooler she purchased.

This cooler was purchased to sell milk, eggs and bread, at the request of a downtown resident.

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