Downtown Mpls. loses iconic restaurant; Peter's to close

6:50 AM, Jun 29, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Peter's Grill, a family-owned institution that's been part of downtown Minneapolis since 1914, will close its doors for good on Saturday afternoon.

Charlie Maguire, a customer since 1972, made sure he made it to the restaurant before 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

"I've walked in there with my parents. I've walked in there with my wife. I've walked in there with my kids and now I won't be able to walk in there anymore," he said.

He knew the lines would be long and he couldn't wait to get his hands on a turkey sandwich.

"Well, I'm here for the last supper," he told KARE 11 about 30 minutes before the line stretched out the door and down the block.

Maguire says he'll miss the food and he'll miss the people.

"They call you honey," he said about the staff of waitresses. "It's kind of like being waited on by your mom!"

Lois Skarman, one of the friendly faces Maguire was talking about, was sad to admit it was her second to last day at Peter's. She's worked there for 18 years.

"When I started here my friends told me if you can survive Peter's Grill at lunch time, you can survive anything," she explained.

Lois remembers when everyday, 500 or 600 customers came in for some conversation and a good ole' fashioned bite to eat, but the crowd isn't what it used to be.

"Things changed downtown. Maybe competition? The food trucks next to me here, that certainly didn't help," Owner Peter Atsidakos said.

Atsidakos fondly remembers April 24, 1995, when a guy name William brought in a decent-sized crew. He was supposed to sit in Lois' section, but secret service members feared there were too many windows around one of her booths. President Bill Clinton was seated on the other side of the restaurant.

"He ordered Canadian bacon, eggs, apple pie, a diet coke and french fries," Atsidakos recalled with a smile.

The last supper, as Maguire calls it, will be served Saturday and the doors will be locked for good at 2:45 p.m.

For Skarman, there just isn't much left to say. "Very sad, lot of good memories," was about all she could muster.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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