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Food & Drink

Hard Times Cafe Has a Reopening Date

A May Day dining room reboot? We love to see it.

Instagram: @hardtimescafempls

Great news for vegetarians, vegans, punks, leftists, artists, activists, Cedar-Riverside, and the Twin Cities in general: Hard Times Cafe will reopen the dining room next month.

The long-running, collectively operated Riverside cafe made the announcement on April 1, confusing some followers in the process. “Looking out the window from the dining room as April Fools Day passes, we are proud to announce the dining room will reopen on MayDay,” their post reads. (They’ve assured one commenter it’s not a gag.)

Hard Times has been closed for indoor dining since the pandemic hit, though they have been serving takeout and offered seating on the patio during warmer months.

As for a few other yet-to-return restaurants around the Twin Cities: Provision Community Restaurant, the pay-what-you-can Lyn-Lake spot, has announced a soft reopening in mid-April with a grand reopening June 1. Racket spoke with founder and CEO Anne Wienke about the redesigned community cafe last month; they’re looking for volunteers if you’re able to lend a hand.

Then there’s Mickey’s Diner, which ran continuously since 1939 but has been closed since the pandemic hit, the size of its tiny dining car making safety measures like social distancing impossible. The classic St. Paul dining car hasn’t posted to social media since sharing a GoFundMe link in late December.

Co-owners Eric Mattson and his daughter Melissa told KSTP in November that they were busy getting the dining car back to its 1950s glory and installing highly modern heating and cooling systems—a process that was taking forever due to supply chain issues. At the time, they were hoping for a spring 2022 reopening.

And of course, many skyway eateries in both Minneapolis and St. Paul remain closed as owners and franchisees wait/hope for workers to consistently return downtown.

You can still grab takeout at Hard Times Cafe as you wait for the dining room to reopen—their Sunday bakery treats are especially worth snagging. Keep an eye on social media for more updates on the full opening.