As of last Sunday, July 14, Minneapolis’ last Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, located along I-94 in the Seward neighborhood, ceased operation for good. This closure will leave more than a few people missing their reliable, if not glitzy, haunt.
Think of the way people describe their love for the Olive Garden—consistency and an open door have a way of trumping all. For a surprising number of us, Perkins was that rock, at least for a period of time. Their encyclopedic menu of crowd pleasers done just fine, bottomless coffee, and cushy booths helped sweeten the deal.
Most of all: Perkins was always open. Now it’s not.
Is it mid-exams and you forgot to eat? Perkins. Need somewhere to dine with the octogenarian who might be your godfather but you’re still not sure? Perkins. Does your entire soccer team need to roll in, unannounced, and destroy a bunch of onion rings in a bizarre, teenage post-game victory lap? Perkins. Sometimes, we didn’t treat Perkins with the respect it deserved, and were asked to leave Perkins by the put-upon staff. (We’re still sorry about that, Perkins.)
The neighborhood immediately surrounding Minneapolis’ Last Perkins Standing will feel this hit more than those of us waxing nostalgic. The brain-hungry students at Augsburg University are just a footbridge away, as are the individuals drawn by circumstance at odd hours to the clutch of University hospitals on the East Bank. Folks from the multiple senior living facilities nearby, for whom a visit to Perkins was close enough to minimize mobility issues, got a bit of autonomy and a pop of independence with their cups of soup.
A spokesperson from Perkins told KSTP “numerous other locations in the area give team members the opportunity to work and guests to still enjoy the restaurant.” With the permanent closure (erasure?) of the Midway Perkins in St. Paul, the other locations referenced are found in Golden Valley, Edina, Bloomington, etc., which makes us wonder if, in the end, Perkins itself doesn’t understand the consequences of its actions.