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Grand Forks restaurant icon found dead in his home

John Manske. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

A longtime part of Grand Forks' restaurant scene died Wednesday, according to a WDAZ-TV report.

John "Sky" Manske, 52, was found dead in his home on Wednesday morning, Aug. 15, sources confirm. 

Manske was known for opening the downtown restaurant named after him, Sky's Fine Dining Lounge.

Manske spent 25 years working at the former Sanders 1907 restaurant. He purchased it from Kim Holmes in 2014 then relocated to the Edgewood building on the corner of DeMers Avenue and Fourth Street.

Manske, a first-time business owner, hired several former Sanders employees and opened under the new name.

The second-floor restaurant was remodeled, and Manske told a Herald reporter in 2015 he spent months perfecting the menu.

The restaurant's opening marked the first time since the 1997 flood the Edgewood building was fully occupied.

Manske gave up ownership in 2016 and the restaurant shifted into the hands of general manager Patrick Madigan, head chef Joseph Hanson and Edgewood owner Phil Gisi. Manske reportedly remained involved in the restaurant.

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