Classic restaurant to clear the tables for the last time

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After almost 70 years, an east metro family is closing its restaurant.

The White Bear Press reports the Lakeside Club in Mahtomedi will shut its doors for good next February. Current owners, sisters Sue and Cheryl Mahmood, decided to it was time to end the Mahmood family's long run. Since 1946, their parents and uncles ran the restaurant in several incarnations.

“We’re getting old,” Susan Mahmood told the newspaper. “The building is outdated and will cost too much to remodel."

Until 1984, the restaurant near the shores of White Bear Lake was a club, open to card-carrying members. At one point, there were 5,000 members who paid an annual fee of $5 to eat at the restaurant. The current structure, built in 1962, continues to operate in mid-century style, with steaks seared on the original nickle-plated grill. Dishes are vintage china and diners settle back amid dark paneled walls.

Many diners have given the spot thumbs-up reviews on websites like UrbanSpoon and Yelp, praising the menu and the atmosphere.

The club’s biggest claim to fame is probably an exterior scene in the movie “Fargo” (pictured at left). The Movie District website, which highlights location scenes used in movies, includes a picture of the club as it looked in the 1996 movie, complete with Marge Gunderson's police squad car parked in the snowy parking lot.

The Fargo Wikipedia page notes the restaurant is said to be located in Brainerd in the film.

The Mahmood sisters recalled that musical group the Andrews Sisters ate at the club, and that former U.S Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks dropped in occasionally.

The restaurant’s last day will be Feb. 28. The building will be razed and the newspaper said it's likely the property will be developed into senior cooperative housing. The city of Mahtomedi Planning Commission is scheduled to consider a 39-unit proposal at its October meeting.

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