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Beloved St. Paul restaurant is closing after 61 years

No more burgers, fish fries and malts from the Mac-Groveland mainstay.
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A restaurant that's been a mainstay of the St. Paul dining scene across seven decades has announced it's closing.

The current owners of the St. Clair Broiler confirmed the eatery on St. Clair Avenue in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood will close at the end of the month.

Co-owner Charlie Theros, in a statement sent to the Pioneer Press, said: "Today's economics make it prohibitive to operate an independent neighborhood restaurant offering quality cuisine at a price point low enough to attract the number of customers needed to be profitable."

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“Instead of throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars into needed upgrades to the space and completely change the concept, we have made the difficult decision to close," he added.

Theros has owned the Broiler and Rudolph's Bar-B-Que in Minneapolis along with his father Jimmy since 2006, when they bought it from Jimmy's cousin (also called Jimmy) who had owned it since 1969, according to the Theros Group website.

The restaurant originally opened in 1956, founded by brothers John and George Boosalis, with the Star Tribune noting it was known for its broiled burgers, malts and Friday fish fry.

Al Gore's a fan

The restaurant says its "finest moment" was when then-vice president and presidential candidate Al Gore stopped by in May 2000 for a strategy session with state Democratic leaders.

He had a hot fudge malt, and was apparently so impressed with it he ordered two more for his staff to try on the plane.

It looks like the website hasn't been updated for a couple of years, as it says the owners were due to embark on a remodel of the restaurant that would feature new carpeting, chairs, tables, lighting and counter.

The remodel was shelved, and instead the famous institution will close by September's end.

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