Readers may remember eight-year-old Dylan Spoering from the piano recital he held in his south Minneapolis front porch on a rainy day in July. Musician Tommy Rehbein (Farewell Continental, International Karate, Party House) caught wind of his young neighbor's event and sent out a Facebook invite, attracting hundreds of residents and members of the local media who stood beneath umbrellas, cheering on young Spoering.
On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., Spoering made his triumphant return to the DIY scene with his "Pirate Restaurant." He recruited kids from around his neighborhood to be servers, cashiers, and food runners. Spoering's own name tag read "Dylan the boss."
By the time Hot Dish arrived, the backyard was bustling. Unfortunately, the two sandwiches on the menu had been crossed out. Had they already run out of supplies? Nope. The city told them they couldn't sell sandwiches. Fortunately, our young server informed us that sandwiches were indeed still available, but they had to act as though they weren't.
The Pirate Restaurant offered bologna sandwiches, sun-butter sandwiches, Oreos, chips, watermelon, lemonade, coffee, milk, and popsicles. We opted for the $3.75 meal deal, which came with a sandwich, chips or watermelon, a dessert, and a drink.
While customers dined, Spoering serenaded them with a few songs on his keyboard, which was set up in the front yard with a tip jar placed nearby. We caught up with Spoering in between sets and stints in the kitchen and asked him a few questions about his latest endeavor.
Hot Dish: Where did you come up with the idea for your pirate restaurant?
Spoering: I just woke up one day and said, "Hey daddy, can I have a restaurant?"
What was the planning process like?
We talked about it with my mom, dad, and me and then we all figured it out and then we said, um, yeah, my friends are gonna help and then my friends knew about it and then we would have the jobs and now the restaurant is going on.
Did you have a meeting to decide who would do what?
Kind of. Kind of not. I mean, kind of.
How did you decide what you wanted to serve?
Um, I just told my dad all of the list of things I wanted to serve and then I copied that at Kinko's.
How did you advertise it?
I just gave it out to people on the street.
Are these your favorite foods?
[He points to chips, Oreos, and lemonade]
We heard the city came in and tried to shut you guys down. Is that true?
They said we couldn't have sandwiches, but we are having sandwiches, and we are doing this. Already Fox 9 came in. They interviewed me, too. There's a customer. Can I go?
Stay tuned for young Spoering's next enterprise.
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