Longtime Dinkytown staple Purple Onion closes doors

“Ponion,” as some lovingly referred to it, announced its closure after nearly 30 years via Facebook.


Image by Tony Saunders

Joe and Johannse, long time Purple Onion patrons, enjoy ice cream cones on the patio on Saturday, May 26, 2018. In addition to coffee, the eatery served pizza, sandwiches and ice cream, among other things.

by Jasmine Snow

After nearly 30 years on the University of Minnesota campus, the Purple Onion Cafe and Catering will be closing its doors permanently, according to a post on its Facebook account.

“It is with great sadness that we announce our permanent closure,” read the post. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve the U of M Campus for 30 amazing years. The memories made inside these walls will live on forever.”

Like many other restaurants around the University area, the Purple Onion had closed its door earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since opening in 1993, and despite a move in 2006, the restaurant has been a longtime staple in Dinkytown for community members. In its time, the Purple Onion has served as a venue for live music, improv and countless study dates.

According to the post, owner Pat Weinberg and family can be found at the Carbone’s Pizza in West St. Paul.