ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s been a St. Paul establishment for decades: A neighborhood bar with a big personality and even bigger burgers.
When a fire shut down The Nook just before Christmas, the owners and customers immediately looked forward to the reopening. And that happened on Thursday, just five months later.
Lunch customers had the place packed well before noon. The burgers were on the grill, and they came with a few more options this time. Some wanted fries, but the deep frier also produces onion rings and sweet potato fries now.
When asked why they came back, the customers had obvious answers.
“Because they’ve got the best burgers,” said Luke Heimer of Rosemount. “Great burgers, great atmosophere, the people here are solid and I got a note on Facebook today that they were reopening today, so we decided to bring the team out here.”
An early-morning fire back in December led to what one of the owners called “total devastation.” But The Nook is now completely remodeled after months of hard work.
“We were hoping to be open a lot earlier than this, but I think we did alright overall with some structural improvements and handicap accessibility,” said Ted Casper, co-owner of The Nook.
The vintage neighborhood bowling alley is still next door, and the restaurant is famous for its burgers. The beer is still cold, and the menu is the same as it was before the fire, for now.
“Yeah, we tried to keep that the same, we didn’t want to shock anyone. I think in the future with the new kitchen being a little bigger and more equipped, we’ll be able to complement the existing menu with new itemas,” Casper said.
Their specialty is the Juicy Nookie, a burger stuffed with cheese. The restaurant was even featured on the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
The owners of The Nook said customers will have to bear with them for a few days while they get back into their regular routine.