Let's give Dale Maxfield a Golden medal. A Golden Corral medal to be specific. The local franchisee is single-handedly bringing back beloved Old Country Buffet locations that have closed throughout Minnesota.

"I'm getting 100 calls a day about when they're going to open," he said. "There's a Facebook fan club already forming."

His first location in Maple Grove at 13603 Grove Dr., once an OCB, will re-open at 10 a.m. as a Golden Corral on Sept. 1. It will serve the usual GC fare, including smoked turkey, sausage and brisket.

A Maplewood location at 3000 White Bear Av. N. will open Nov. 1. Maxfield also has letters of intent for the Old Country Buffets in Mankato, Duluth and Burnsville.

Twelve Twin Cities' Old Country Buffets have been shuttered in the past two years, but several are in play to be re-opened in Minnesota including Woodbury and Rochester. Maxfield said that even though Burnsville is still operating as an Old Country Buffet (the only one still open in Minnesota), he has already expressed a desire to take it over. He also operates Golden Corral restaurants in Sioux City and Davenport, Iowa, Omaha and Kokomo, Indiana.

A former Old Country Buffet VP, Maxfield left in 2006 when there were 600 locations. OCB now has 120 and is in bankruptcy protection. Raleigh, N.C.-based Golden Corral has 500 restaurants in 43 states.

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