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2 Mpls Staples Closing After A Combined 164 Years In Business

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(credit: CBS) Edgar Linares
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Two Minneapolis staples will be closing their doors after a combined 164 years in business.

Peter’s Grill, a favorite among Twin Cities lunchtime diners, first opened its doors in 1914, two years after the Titanic sunk. Halek’s Bar, founded over 65 years ago, will also be calling it quits.

Forging ahead through the Great Depression, World War II and the fall of Communism, Peter’s biggest challenge came in the 21st century when the lunch time competition picked up.

Now, with the competition proving too stiff, the historic restaurant will be closed for good Saturday, June 29, at 2:45 p.m. Elaine Johnson, a Minneapolis resident whose father helped design some of the art in restaurant, reflected on the closing.

“I was just a kid when my father worked on some of the drawings for the booths,” Johnson said. “This is Minneapolis, Peter’s Grill. It’s part of Minneapolis.”

During the golden years, Peter Atsidakos, the restaurant’s current owner, said they served 700 to 800 people a day.

“Things change. Maybe it’s time to retire,” Atsidakos said.

Since 1914, Peter’s has stuck to three core principles: serve high-quality homemade food, provide large portions, and make the meals affordable. Until recently, they comprised the formula that kept Peter’s successful.

With the influx of food trucks, staying afloat became a challenge.

Joining Peter’s Grill in shutting its doors is Halek’s Bar in North Minneapolis. Halek’s, a sponsor for local sports teams for over 65 years, is turning off their lights for good on Sunday, June 30. Though Halek’s Bar has been around for many years, the feeling inside is quite different from that at Peter’s. Halek’s owner feels he’s ready to move on.

“I’ve been here for 48 years,” Halek said. “This is a younger man’s sport now.”

As he looks back, the hardest part about moving on will be leaving behind the friendships he’s built.

“I’ll miss a lot of the people that have been good to me and became my friends over the years,” Halek said.

Currently, Peter’s Grill is in the process of being sold. And Halek’s Bar, once sold, will be renamed Cliff and Norms.

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