Virginia Cafe

A present-day image of the Virginia Cafe building.

See larger version

Known Name(s)

Virginia Cafe


303 S. Main St. Aberdeen, SD

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The Virginia Cafe restaurant operated in the building at 303 S. Main Street in downtown Aberdeen, which was built c.1923-1929. The one-story yellow-orange brick building currently there has a remodeled storefront with an off-center double entrance and cloth awning. According to historical photographs, the storefront had double aluminum framed doors at the north end under a three-light transom, windows above an enameled metal or tile base, a retractable cloth awning, a large enameled metal sign board with "Virginia Cafe" on it, and a perpendicular metal sign with neon lighting centered in a panel above. Though the sign is gone, the panel retains the header-bond brick and white terra cotta accent blocks and frame. Post-1960 vertical paneling across this building and the one to the north was removed in 2010

Source: Troy McQuillen, Aberdeen (Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013), 54.

Detailed History

A Greek immigrant, Dan Cacavas, first opened the Virginia Cafe restaurant in 1917 in the Ward Hotel, but he moved to this location in 1927 after the hotel burned down. In 1948, he sold the business to cousins Chris and Harry J. Cacavas. In 1963, Harry and Barbara Cacavas sold the business to Virginia Amundson, who sold it in 1968 to Bud and Marion Gallipo. The cafe closed in 1978. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 in the Aberdeen Commercial Historic District, but as a non-contributing building because of the post-1960 alterations to the building’s exterior. Those alterations were removed in 2010. 

Click here for a historic photo.

Sources: R.L. Polk's Aberdeen City Directories from 1950 to 1956, SD State Archives, Pierre; Troy McQuillen, “Gone But Not Forgotten; Virginia CafĂ©,” Aberdeen Magazine (May 3, 2017). Historical photograph, "Virginia Cafe," AAHRC-0355, Beulah Williams Library Archives and Special Collections, Northern State University, Aberdeen,

Related Issues