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STURGIS | Wanda and Keith Coalmer loved the Colorado mountains but decided they could no longer deal with the urban sprawl of the Colorado front range.

So they came to the Black Hills, looking for a small town in which to open a new restaurant.

“We were both raised in small towns and on farms,” said Wanda. “We just decided it was time to get out of the rat race.”

Their search for a quieter, more easy-going lifestyle landed them in Sturgis, and at the end of March, they opened Wanda’s Kitchen at 1025 Junction Ave.

They lease the space from a friend who now owns the building, which formerly housed an aftermarket motorcycle parts business that also included a limited snack bar.

Coalmer finished out the kitchen area, adding natural gas service for the ranges and ovens. She bought new dining tables for the front of the house.

Their breakfast and lunch menu is built on dishes made in-house, Wanda said.

“We try to do as much home-cooking as we can,” she said.

So far, her pork tenderloin, green chili, hamburgers, chicken pot pie, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and stuffed green peppers have proven to be popular with her first patrons.

“I’ve had good response on just about everything,” she said.

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Coalmer serves breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. She is open seven days per week with a buffet on Sundays.

The Sunday buffet includes a dessert section that equals in size the section containing the breakfast offerings, she said.

The Coalmer’s may have escaped the rat race in their move from congested Colorado, but they also know the crowds will come to find them in late July and early August, when hundreds of thousands of bikers converge on the Black Hills for the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Their restaurant is located less than one-half block from Sturgis’ Main Street, ground-zero for the rally, but they’re ready for the temporary influx with an attitude shared by many long-time locals.

“We’re more here for the rest of the year, and we’ll tolerate the rally,” she said. “We really are looking forward to the small town.”

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