Can you remember a time before the Juicy Lucy craze?
Jill Skogheim can. As president of the 5-8 Club restaurants, where she's worked for more than 20 years, she's had her fair share of burgers. And her preferred version isn't the cheese-stuffed, molten-cored Lucy you know and love and have seen featured everywhere from the Travel Channel to Bon Appétit.
She prefers to keep her burger classic: a single quarter-pound patty with mushroom and Swiss.
“They’re under-appreciated since the world of the Juicy Lucy took off,” Skogheim chuckles.
Don't trust that a standard burger could possibly stack up to the 5-8's more famed iteration? Today's the day to try one—from open to close on Wednesday, December 5, the 5-8 Club’s Minneapolis location (5800 Cedar Ave.) is frying up 90-cent hamburgers (traditional burgers only, no Juicy Lucys; additional toppings extra) plus 90-cent french fries, and 90-cent onion straws.
Crucially, they'll also have 90-cent beer.
It's all part of 5-8's 90th anniversary celebration. The Minneapolis 5-8 opened in 1928—yep, right in the middle of a little thing called "Prohibition"—as one of Minnesota’s original speakeasies. “We think that we’re the third-oldest restaurant in the Twin Cities, the second-oldest in Minneapolis,” Skogheim says.
That stalwart nature must have rubbed off on its staff. With 20 years at 5-8 behind her, Skogheim isn't even close to being the longest-tenured employee. There are servers who have been there 25 or more years; one has been there for about 34. The restaurant has expanded: first to Maplewood (the 5-8 Tavern & Grill, 2002), followed by Champlin (the 5-8 Grill & Bar, 2004), and West St. Paul (the 5-8 Grill & Tap, 2014). Plenty of folks have been coming in for decades, some for generations.
Skogheim says those relationships with long-term employees and customers are certainly a part of what helped the place stick around for 90 years. But more than that?
“We have really good food—good people and good food are the combination," she says simply. "I think without either one, you’d have trouble.”
“We’re consistent comfort food," she continues. "We’re not going to be the trendiest burger. If I put wild boar burgers on the menu, it wouldn’t sell. We’re 'come as you are.'"
Reminder: The burgers, fries, and onion straws are only available for 90 cents at 5-8's Minneapolis location. Every order gets you free anniversary cake, too—an offer that's good at all four 5-8 Clubs. The 90-cent Anniversary Ale is also yours for the swilling at all four locations.