This article was originally published on Jan. 1, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s known for the food. It’s known for its fame. Now, help can’t come soon enough for an iconic Twin Cities restaurant.

Melissa Matson is president of Mickey’s Diner.

“I don’t think I’ve been there one day where there hasn’t been one person coming in just because of the Mighty Ducks.”

Something the third generation business is not known for is being closed.

“It’s really almost shocking that after all that time, we are closed 24-7,” Matson said.

The restaurant her grandfather started in 1939 survived the great depression, but it’s not clear if Mickey’s Diner will survive COVID-19.

“Well, we’ve pretty much gone through our reserves,” she said.

It’s troubling news to the droves of devoted patrons, like the Smith family from Mahtomedhi.

Jovan Smith tells WCCO, “We would always go to Children’s Museum and after that we would always go to Mickey’s and eat there.”

She says the fact the restaurant is closed, and could stay that way, is heartbreaking.

“I think of it being a loss, it’s going to be a detriment to a lot of people’s families and tradition and times,” she said.

So, fellow supporters are helping out and donating to this GoFundMe, there’s about $13,000 in donations — they need $50,000 to stay afloat.

“You still have a lot of maintenance to keep it going. Our grill is 80 years old, our sign is 80 years old,” Matson said.

So, the hope is those who love to dine-in will pitch in, so that the restaurant — that was never supposed to close — can open again.

Matson says they want to, “Get back to what we’ve always done, run 24-7.”

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield