After 80 years as a State Fair staple, the Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall is done

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End of an era, truly. Facebook: Robbinsdale OES Dining Hall

Man, does anything good come out of Facebook anymore?

Setting aside this week's privacy scandal and the eternal evidence that it makes us all lonelier, it's been a rough couple of days for popular places quietly announcing their end via the social networking site. First, it was Kings Wine Bar, which is taking off after a decade in south Minneapolis. Now, it's the dining hall helmed by Robbinsdale's Order of the Eastern Star chapter. A State Fair stalwart for 80 years, they won't be back in their bright-yellow building when the fairground gates open up this August.

The fraternal order made the announcement Wednesday, saying that they're selling their hall to the fair and including a couple of crying emojis for good measure. 

OES's Michael Powles told the Star Tribune that the decision came down to financial, practical stuff. Times are different now than they were when the dining hall opened in 1937; costs are going up, while their membership is getting older. And since Robbinsdale is volunteer-staffed -- Powles himself has been a volunteer for 15 years -- it seemed like maybe it was time to bow out.

He doesn't sound bitter, though, telling the Strib: “It was fun. I’ll probably go back sometime in the near future. I’ll be curious to see who replaces us. And going back will be a different experience. I won’t be going to the fair to work, I’ll be going for my own entertainment.”

We'll be curious to see what moves in, too. (Please, don't let it be anyone selling deep-fried avocado.)


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