Everybody loves a reliable, comfy diner.
Which is probably what inspired this recent list from MSN, highlighting their picks for the "best hole-in-the-wall diner" in each state. The selection for Minnesota is a good one: Band Box Diner in Minneapolis.
The pint-sized diner has been open at 10th Street and 14th Avenue since 1939, and is a beloved foodie landmark in the city.
Despite being more than 80 years old the menu isn't "stuck in time," MSN writes, highlighting the restaurant's French toast sandwich, Sloppy Bro Burger and Monster Omelette.
If this makes you want to visit ... well, there's an unfortunate complication: Band Box isn't currently open.
The diner closed in March of 2020 at the start of the COVID pandemic. When the state relaxed regulations later that year, owners Brad and Heather Ptacek still weren't able to reopen because the restaurant's tiny footprint made social distancing impossible.
They've also had to juggle their son's distance learning and Heather's breast cancer treatment.
Last fall, a neighbor and patron organized a Go Fund Me to help the Band Box Diner get up and running again. It brought in more than $23,000, with some of that money having gone to repairing parts of the structure (some damaged by vandalism) and updating things like plumbing and lighting.
The latest update is from Nov. 17, 2021, and says they installed a new, secure yo-go window, but were dealing with a broken HVAC system. It also notes Heather was "on the mend" and "no longer undergoing chemo or radiation treatments."
A call to the restaurant around lunchtime Thursday went unanswered, Google still lists Band Box Diner as temporarily closed, and there haven't been any reopening announcements.