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Effort underway to reopen famous Band Box Diner in Minneapolis

Its owners need support to reopen the diner, which closed at the start of the pandemic and has

Community members are collaborating to help the owners of Minneapolis landmark, the Band Box Diner, to reopen for business.

The diner at 10th Street and 14th Avenue opened its doors in 1939, but was forced to close at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year.

With the diner too small to offer social distancing, it was unable to reopen during 2020, during which time owners Brad and Heather Ptacek also had to deal with their son's distance learning and Heather's breast cancer treatment.

And since it has been closed, the diner has been the target of break-ins and vandalism, which means it needs new front, back, and patio doors, as well as plumbing repairs, new windows, and a new security system. After that? They need to formulate a new menu, place a food order, and hire some help.

Support is arriving in the form of a GoFundMe campaign launched by Cassie Garner, who owns fellow Elliot Park neighborhood business the Gamut Gallery a short distance away.

The plan is for the Ptaceks to reopen the diner as a "hole in the wall" takeout business initially, and to do Garner is aiming to raise $15,000 so that they can make the necessary repairs.

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"Brad and Heather are some of the best people I know and are really in need of the community to come together and help them get back on their feet over a very long 18 months," she writes.

It's the latest remaining of what at one point numbered 15 Band Box Diners across the Twin Cities, and has managed to survive to survive the decades, and in 2000 was designated a local landmark.

"This is the landmark of this neighborhood," Cassie Garner, owner of the Gamut Gallery a few doors down from Band Box, said. "This place to me is where you bring every out of towner every friend you’ve ever had. It’s everything."

You can find the fundraiser here.

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