Casper & Runyon's Nook reopens after fire

Don't call it a comeback. The Nook's been here for years
Don't call it a comeback. The Nook's been here for years

There was a collective sob emanating from St. Paul last December 14 when the neighborhood burger darling the Nook was damaged in a fire.  Ted Casper and Mike Runyon predicted it would take them three months to rebuild.  Not too far off schedule, they reopened quietly last night to cheers from friends and family.  While initially only serving beer at the adjacent Ram Ham bowling alley, reports say they were planning to begin serving lunch today.

We took a peek inside.

The interior is entirely new, but familiar, with a few upgrades. The entryway has been expanded to allow more room for the inevitable wait for a table and is now thankfully handicapped accessible.  The bar was able to be salvaged and restored.  They swapped where the kitchen and bathrooms once were. There's only one unisex bathroom, but it's also handicapped accessible. With the kitchen now in back, they were able to add a dumbwaiter that can bring food down to the bowling alley.

The RanHam's pool tables were replaced with more tables for diners.  More dining space is exactly what the hugely popular neighborhood destination needed.

While the flair adorned walls were a total loss, the Nook's owners have done what they can to seek out vintage replicas and tchotchkes extolling their neighborhood pride. The Cretin-Durham hall sports memorabilia is also back.

The Nook
419 Hamline Avenue South, St. Paul
The Nook website

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