A 4-year-old (and his exhausted dad) review the new Flynn’s Diner in Richfield

Right off the bat, Flynn’s bills itself as an authentic retro diner straight out of the 1950s.

Right off the bat, Flynn’s bills itself as an authentic retro diner straight out of the 1950s. Patrick Strait

Not too long ago, a shiny (literally) new restaurant popped up on the corner of 66th Street and Penn Avenue in Richfield called Flynn’s Diner.

Observing its sleek stainless steel exterior and colorful 1950s-themed pictures inside, I figured this might finally—FINALLY—be a place where I can have dinner with my 4-year-old that isn’t Parkway Pizza or McDonald's (as always, no disrespect).

The restaurant is still in its soft opening phase, which felt like it was the perfect time to see if it could withstand the wrath of a 35-pound terror, hell-bent on making everything in his path sticky. The results were mixed.


Right off the bat, Flynn’s bills itself as an authentic retro diner straight out of the 1950s. The booths and barstools have that Happy Days vibe, but the Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind pictures (both films from the ’30s) had me questioning the attention to detail.

My child was equally confused, as we pulled up and he loudly asked, “ARE WE AT A CARWASH?” I… got nothing.

After I explained that we were not at a carwash, and promising that there would be milkshakes, he reluctantly decided to go inside. Once seated, he made the choice to pour blue slime all over our table—and I mean, all over. He slimed the shit out of it.

After scraping slime off the table, I spent a few minutes reviewing the menu while my child decided to host an impromptu karate demonstration for the lucky Flynn’s Diner patrons. After a well-placed mule-kick to my jaw (the soothing sounds of the Temptations and the Four Seasons helped to muffle my screams, but also THEY WERE FROM THE ’60s), I decided to place an order.


The food was exactly what you expect from a diner. My 4-year-old did get his previously promised milkshake, as well as an order of pancakes. This is a dinner order that is likely to land me on the Twin Cities’ Healthiest Parents list for 2019, and I look forward to receiving my award.

Aside from the all-day breakfast, the menu is a mix of burgers, sandwiches, deep-fried items (fish and chips, country-fried steak) and only the most authentic 1950s cuisine: a falafel plate. While I was admittedly intrigued by the idea of getting falafel and a slushy, I stuck with the Cowboy Burger and headed back to the table to find my child enjoying a vast array of condiments. All-you-can-eat jelly? They got that. Ketchup and mustard bottles instead of packets for maximum destruction? Absolutely.   

After the kid demanded to spread jelly on any and all surfaces in his general area, our food arrived and was met with a reasonable level of enthusiasm. That being: He ate it, and I was able to finish a full meal while only getting kicked in the kidney once. Big win!

A trademarked "big butt show."

A trademarked "big butt show." Patrick Strait


The people at Flynn’s were very nice, and seemed generally entertained when my child decided to give them a “big butt show” to end the evening. For those who aren’t familiar, a big butt show is where you push a booth backward, interrupting the dinner of the poor restaurant-goers behind you, then hit that four-point twerk position and shout “BOOOOOOOTY” while everyone pretends like your dad hasn’t completely lost control of the situation. We filed out, leaving a trail of jelly, slime, and exhaustion in our wake.

Don’t worry, we tipped generously.


Overall, the food and the atmosphere were what we expected. There’s nothing super remarkable about Flynn’s, but it is filling the void of family-friendly restaurants in the booming suburb of Richfield. Plus, you never know when you’re going to get a bonus twerk-off.


Flynn’s Diner
6600 Penn Ave. S., Richfield