Shhhh: Prairie Dogs Restaurant "Quietly Open" on Lake Street

It's a bright, sunshiny day for Prairie Dogs: Their brick-and-mortar is finally open.

It's a bright, sunshiny day for Prairie Dogs: Their brick-and-mortar is finally open.

Don't wake the babies. And by babies we mean all the cute little dogs and sausages of Prairie Dogs, all snug and looped and linked and napping in their permanent home after a year on the road with little hobo sacks slung over their porky little shoulders. They must be so relieved.

Or at least co-owners Tobie Nidetz and Craig Johnson oughta be, though they're still working out a few kinks, and say that they're currently conducting "a few trials."

Which means: Prairie Dogs is now open on Lake Street! (On a limited basis).

The scoop:

See also: Prairie Dogs Lands Brick and Mortar in Lyn-Lake

See, the thing about opening a restaurant in a splashy way is that so much can go wrong. The cash register may not work, the linens might not get delivered to the right place, you might not have a set of keys to the dry storage area and someone locked themselves in there and for sustenance they're going to have to eat up all the buns.

How did Marilyn keep her famous figure? Hot dogs, perhaps.

How did Marilyn keep her famous figure? Hot dogs, perhaps.

Nothing quite that dramatic has happened yet, but they did print the wrong phone number on a whole bunch of takeout menus and some flummoxed girl was getting random orders for things like a "split open and melt" and she might have gotten the wrong idea altogether had Nidetz not texted her to straighten it out and offer her free dinner for her trouble.

After popping up all over town for more than a year, Prairie Dogs Handcrafted Sausages finally has a permanent home in the old Grey House space on Lake Street, but like the savvy food pros they are, they'll be taking it slow for the moment, and then "push it hard" in a few weeks.

The space looks open and airy, with vintage sausage grinders acting as clever light fixtures.

Plus! Hot chicks eating sausages!

In these modern times of Kickstarters, pop-ups, and social media campaigns, a place can have a brand before the first customer even passes toe to threshold, and Prairie Dogs is no different.

We already know they're putting out house-made dogs and sausages on handmade buns, and that they've got one of the finest Chicago dogs between here, Northeast, and the West Bank (with Uncle Franky's and the Wienery being their -- ahem -- stiffest competition).

For now, they're keeping limited hours until the liquor license comes through, which should be in about three weeks. Weekdays they'll open around 4 p.m. and close when business tapers off. Weekends they'll be open for both lunch and dinner, opening at noon or thereabouts.

Can't wait that long for a sausage and a beer? Consider plunking down for an afternoon at Lyn Lake Brewery-- you can get takeout from Prairie Dogs and dine in (and drink) at the brewery.

They'll also soon be offering delivery via Rock-It Bike Delivery, so you won't even have to place coaster on top of beer in an attempt to save your spot.

Hours will expand to late night as spring approaches, but the full menu is already available.

610 W. Lake St., Minneapolis 612-223-8984

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