RIP: Cafe Brenda


I just got off the phone with Brenda Langton who broke the news that her landmark cafe will be closing after 23 years of business on December 5. Langton will continue to run Cafe Brenda's sister restaurant, Spoonriver, lead the Mill City Farmers Market, which she helped pioneer, and work on other projects relating to food and health, including teaching at the U's Center for Spirituality & Healing and publishing a new cookbook. Whew!

Cafe Brenda has been a longtime Minneapolis favorite for serving healthy, vegetarian-focused fare in a serene, window-filled dining room. Over the years, as neighbors like the New French Cafe closed, Cafe Brenda's approach became something of an anomaly among the incoming Hard Rock Cafe, Hooters, and sports bars--but its cooking always stayed fresh.

Langton, her husband, Timothy Kane, and her devoted staff hope that Cafe Brenda fans will come by for lunch or dinner to share memories--was anyone there the night David Byrne visited?--and celebrate the restaurant's success. Outstanding Cafe Brenda gift certificates will be honored at Spoonriver and many beloved Cafe Brenda dishes--including the mock duck tacos and the tempeh Reuben, I hope--will migrate over to Spoonriver as well. For more information, see Langton's note on the Cafe Brenda website.