Mark and Susan Leddy have purchased the former First National Bank building on Main Street in Milbank. The sale closed on February 8 and... Sneak Peek Inside Leddy’s Future Coffee House

Mark and Susan Leddy have purchased the former First National Bank building on Main Street in Milbank. The sale closed on February 8 and demolition and remodeling has begun. The couple plans to open a cosmopolitan-style coffee house this June. The business will also feature Amy’s Sweet Treats and eventually, wine from the couple’s vineyard. 

Crews have already torn out the walls from the 3,800-square-foot main level and removed the reception desk, which Mark described as mammoth. Only one of the original offices will remain and will become a meeting room. The area formerly served as the office for the president of the bank, and the Leddys are toying with the idea of naming it after the first president. The new business will be called The Bank.

Mark says he was surprised and pleased when the walls came tumbling down. Behind the plaster were wood furring strips or batter boards which revealed an amazingly untouched brick wall, perfect for a coffee house. 
The wall runs the length of the north side of the building. Although the exterior is constructed mainly of blonde bricks, the bricks which form the interior wall are a much darker red. Mark believes they add a beauty to the building no one even knew was there. “I really think this was a grand building in its day.”

A commercial kitchen will be installed in the building to form a working space for Amy VanLith, creator of Amy’s Sweet Treats. Her cheesecake will be sold by the slice or by the whole pie. Other baked goods will also be on the menu or available for take out. VanLith, who is currently employed at the Milbank Hospital, will leave her position to become a full-time baker.

“We want The Bank to be an inviting place where people stop on their way to work for coffee and a pastry or a light lunch. We plan to offer three or four sandwiches and a hot option,” Mark says. “There’ll be a table in front by the big window crowned by a large chandelier. It’ll be a relaxing spot to set up your laptop and sip on a cup of coffee or enjoy a decadent dessert. Our hours will be from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we’ll be open on Saturday.”

The coffee bar will be positioned adjacent to a lounge area furnished with comfortable couches and near an LED fireplace with a TV over it.  Booths will flank the beautiful brick wall.

“It’s actually a really big space,” Mark says, “and we plan to maximize the use of it. There should be room for 40 to 50 people. If you have a bigger group or want to isolate yourself, there’ll be plenty of space for that, too.” Concrete floors were another hidden gem uncovered during the demo process. Mark says they plan to keep that look going in the majority of the space. “However, there is an area of granite flooring as you come in the front door. We’ll  add a wood inlay to the granite and stain and finish the concrete throughout.” The kitchen will have a commercial epoxy floor.
Giving a new life to an old building is a huge undertaking, but Mark is no stranger to the job. He spearheaded the remodeling of the historic Bleser building and transformed it into 222 Main in 2017.

From cabinets to coolers and paint colors, every day spent remodeling is a day spent making choices. Add in furniture, forks, and frothing pitchers and you have a million things to decide. Mark and Susan’s niece, Ally Heffernan, has been in Milbank to help with the demolition, make selections and keep track of the details. Ally is from Illinois and the daughter of Susan’s sister, Rebecca (Nef).  

The Leddys might not let Ally leave as they still have a long list of things they plan to accomplish. “Phase Two,” Mark says, “Next winter will be remodeling the basement to create more meeting rooms.”
The basement is also the future home of the wine cellar and the bottling room. It’s a massive space that is dark and cool. And, according to Mark a perfect way to use the vault.

The bank was built in 1954 and functioned as a bank for decades. Although there are some big changes happening now to the First National Bank building, the history remains. It’s still a bank; it’s just getting ready to make a new statement.


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