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Restaurant Roundup: Notable Closings

Gulden’s Restaurant, which has operated in Maplewood since 1934, plans to close its doors at the end of March. The closing was announced on social media and brought an outpouring of posts about family dinners and special events hosted at the restaurant.

“We have had the most amazing journey, we are so grateful for each and every one of you who have passed through our doors, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but it’s time to say goodbye,” a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page stated.

Gulden’s was found in 1934 by Don Gulden, who was then an assistant buyer at St. Paul’s Emporium Department Store. He also founded the 19th Hole Tavern near Keller Golf Course. A restaurant history states that on opening night, Don had to borrow $5 from his sister in order to make change.

The 1954 widening of Highway 61 forced Gulden to physically relocate the building a couple miles to the north. The business operated as the private Club Suburban for eight years until the city of Maplewood opted to issue on-sale liquor licenses, and then it became Gulden’s.

Part of the original building was lost in a 1968 fire. Gulden sold the business in 1974 to John Troje and Doyle and Joan Biggs. After a fire in 1984, the restaurant was again rebuilt, and the name changed to Gulden’s Roadhouse. The business was sold again in 1990 to Brenda Gengler.

Minneapolis also is losing one of its longtime dining spots as Broadway Pizza prepares to close its West River Road location. The railroad-themed pizza place, complete with a caboose outside, has operated there since 1974. Its site is being eyed for a seven-story, 160-unit apartment building, developed by Schafer Richardson. No closing date for the pizzeria has been set. Redevelopment plans are in process at Minneapolis City Hall.

St. Paul has lost the University Avenue soul food spot, Heritage Tea House, which announced its closing in February. It will retain its US Bank Stadium outlet.

It’s not a total closing but the Commodore restaurant in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood must shut down its western dining room after losing a decision at the City Council meeting in February. 

Owner John Rupp has battled city officials over use of the space for several years. He must pay a $500 fine and more than $24,000 in administrative hearing costs. He also had to lay off staff due to closing the space. Reopening the space will require a new city permit.

Still missing the Dari-Ette? Anyone loving retro drive-up diners can go to the Galaxy in St. Louis Park, which is set to reopen in April. The business closed more than five years ago at the end of the season and never reopened.

Owner Steve Schussler announced the news on Facebook. The new management team is developer and Clays restaurant owner Mark Saliterman and Clays Executive Chef James Awe.

Anyone craving ice cream in downtown St. Paul can visit Rico’s Ice Cream Parlor, which just opened in downtown St. Paul’s Alliance Bank building skyway. 

Just a short walk away, work continues to get Pillbox Tavern and Red’s Savoy Pizza ready to open in the Treasure Island Center. 

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