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Annie’s Parlour returns to Dinkytown

Annie’s Parlour will partially open dine-in services on Thursday for food, malts and shakes.
Image by Eleanor King
Annie’s is gradually reopening its dine-in services this week with an abbreviated menu.

The long-awaited return of Annie’s Parlour will begin Thursday as the restaurant will partially reopen indoor dining after its closure in March 2020.

Annie’s is gradually reopening, now with an entirely new staff that is still being trained.

Annie’s has been open for take-out for malts and shakes for two weeks and is hoping to have limited open indoor dining on Thursday with a shortened menu of burgers, fries, malts and shakes, according to Annie’s owner Tom Rimarcik. 

Annie’s is owned by Tom and Tony Rimarcik, who also own various other businesses in the cities including Monte Carlo, Runyon’s, Kitty Cat Klub and the St. Anthony Main Theatre. They have not decided if they will reopen Kitty Cat Klub, but if they do, it will look very different than before.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom and Tony renovated the interior of the building, including the kitchen. The brothers and their father, John Rimarcik, had always planned to reopen Annie’s, according to Tom. 

They were able to reopen Monte Carlo and Runyon’s after COVID-19, though John became ill and passed away before they could reopen Annie’s, Tom said. Tom and Tony decided to continue with the reopening.

“We’re very excited about it all,” Tom said. “Having grown up in this place amongst a couple of others, it’s kind of an honor to be able to do this.”

Annie’s has always tried to keep its prices as affordable as possible, according to Annie’s manager Elliott Schofield, who has worked with the Rimarcik family since 2011.

“That was really John’s vision,” Schofield said. “If he could have, he would have opened restaurants and given food away for free to everybody.”

Annie’s Parlour opened in 1974 and was a Dinkytown staple for many generations. People can expect to see the same menu as before they closed. The restaurant offers 16 flavors, with the option to mix two for each shake or malt.

People visiting the University of Minnesota look for a nostalgic feel when they come onto campus, and Annie’s gives them that opportunity, said Kent Kramp, president of the Dinkytown Business Association and owner of the Dinkytown Raising Cane’s. 

Kramp said Annie’s has a unique local and historic feel that other businesses cannot offer. While other businesses display local community graphics, Annie’s naturally creates that local feeling.

“A place like Annie’s Parlour, they’ve been around for so long, so they just have stuff that they’ve put up over the years that are now vintage, which is pretty cool,” Kramp said. 

Greta Foster, a fourth-year student at the University, said she remembers going to Annie’s all the time as a kid since her dad also went to the University, but it has been closed since she became a student and she is hoping to make up for lost time.

“I loved how wholesome and cozy Annie’s is, so when I was planning on going to college, a reason I wanted to go to the UMN was because I loved Annie’s,” Foster said. “I thought it would be so fun to get fries and malts with all my college friends.”

Schofield said working at Annie’s will allow him to make someone’s day every day.

“Someone’s going to come in here and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t been here since 1984,’” Schofield said. “And they’re just thrilled that we’re back open.”

Annaliesa Diekvoss, a fourth-year student at the University, said there are not many restaurants in the area like Annie’s. 

“It’s really nice to have that continuity and have that little connection even though it’s decades apart. It’s still the same,” Diekvoss said. 

Diekvoss said she is excited to go there to share old memories with her mom, a University alumn, and make new ones with her friends.

Kramp said the return of Annie’s is a good flash from the past for the neighborhood.

“Annie’s Parlour, it’s a gem,” Kramp said. “The way it’s set up, having to walk up the stairs, you feel like you’re taking a step back into history in a good way.”

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  • Nancy L Michels
    Feb 21, 2024 at 5:36 pm

    I have loved Annie’s since it opened just prior to my freshman year in 1975. Many happy memories were made there., The food was great! I lived in Chicago for 36 years and made multiple trips each year to Annie’s during that time. So excited that Annies is back because I am too and I”ll be there!!!

  • John G Smith
    Feb 21, 2024 at 11:58 am

    I loved going to Annie’s for many years until I realized it was completely inaccessible to people who cannot climb a fairly big case of stairs and I began my boycott, just a few years later I injured my spinal cord and now use a chair – I was so hoping to read that they were doing something to make the restaurant accessible to everyone. Huge cost I understand and maybe an unreasonable accommodation request.

  • Jacob
    Feb 21, 2024 at 10:20 am

    Can’t wait to eat those tasty burgers! Oh and don’t get started on the malts! Delicious!

  • Robert Holmen
    Feb 21, 2024 at 9:54 am

    Wasn’t Annies on the West Bank before moving to Dinkytown? That’s my first recollection of going there back in the day.

  • Cyril Moreau
    Feb 21, 2024 at 9:35 am

    Yeahhhhhh finally!!!!! So exciting

  • Eric
    Feb 21, 2024 at 8:51 am