Pearson's in Edina closes: A loss for lutefisk fans

End of an era

End of an era

After 38 years in business near 50th and France, Pearson's Edina Restaurant shuttered its doors Sunday. The go-to eatery for all specialties Scandinavian--lutefisk, meatballs, and lefse to name a few--has a new owner and will have a fresh name, according to the Pioneer Press. One part of the extensive building will reopen under the name 50th Street Cafe on Wednesday and serve breakfast and lunch, including Pearson's five most popular menu items. The other half is slated to be a different restaurant that won't debut until May.

Pearson's Edina Restaurant originally opened in April 1973, adding to the Pearson family's Town Talk Diner (sold in 1975) and Drive-In sites. First just a coffee shop, it expanded in 1975 and 1981, creating the Oak Room and the Oak Room West, respectively.

In 2002, Pearson's received national coverage in the New York Times about lutefisk, calling the venue, "a Minneapolis institution that caters to the seasonal cravings of Scandinavian-Americans," while teasingly pointing out that many of the folks who worked there didn't eat the lye-soaked fish themselves. The Hot Dish hopes the 50th Street Cafe has the chutzpah to serve lutefisk and the other Scandinavian faves that made Pearson's an important cultural destination.