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Wait is over: Twin Cities' first Dunkin' Donuts opens in New Hope

For fans of Dunkin' Donuts, the (seemingly endless) wait is over.

The chain's first Twin Cities outlet opened for business this morning at 5 a.m. at 7820 N. 42nd St. (that's roughly 42nd and Winnetka) in New Hope. 

Basic doughnuts run 99 cents a pop, and $9.99 a dozen. "Fancy" go for $1.59, and "deluxe" are $2.49. A plain bagel is also 99 cents; add "cream cheese spread" and the price jumps to $1.99. Croissants are also 99 cents.

Sandwiches -- from ham-egg-cheese on an English muffin to turkey-Cheddar-bacon on ciabatta are $1.79 to $3.99.

And yes, the reputation is true: When I dropped in at 9 a.m., there were three police cars in the parking lot. And 11 doughnut lovers ahead of me, ordering Boston Creme Croissant Donuts and Candy Cane Crunch Donuts. I stayed old school. 

There's both counter and drive-through service. Drive-through runs 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends; the counter closes an hour earlier. 

The plan is for 40 Dunkin' Donuts to open across Minnesota over the next six years. (There are more than 11,000 outlets worldwide, including 8,000-plus in 41 states and the District of Columbia). East metro doughnut fans, take note: the chain's next outlet is set to open Dec. 14 at 2425 Rice St. in Roseville. 

Walker Art Center's Esker Grove restaurant to open Dec. 13

After a too-long absence, a full-service restaurant is returning to the Walker Art Center.

Esker Grove, located at the museum's just-opened Vineland Place entrance pavilion, is set to debut on Dec. 13. The restaurant is the work of Culinaire, the Dallas-based culinary giant behind Sea Change at the Guthrie Theater and Fika at the American Swedish Institute.

Lunch will be served Tuesday through Friday, and dinner will be served daily. Weekend brunch service will begin Jan. 7. Lunch will include sandwiches (an eggplant tartine with preserved tomato, a grilled cheese made with apples and pungent rachlette), couscous with lamb sausages and pine nuts, smoked sturgeon rillettes and red rice with preserved mushrooms and rotisserie-roasted vegetables. 

Dinner will feature spit-roasted sturgeon, honey-glazed lamb shoulder, a dry-aged New York strip steak, a celery root tart and a farro and endive salad.

Chef Doug Flicker (Piccolo, Sandcastle) is overseeing the operation, which will be managed on a day-to-day basis by chef de cuisine T.J. Rawitzer (Masu Sushi & Robata, the Third Bird), beverage manager Jon Olson (La Belle Vie, Icehouse and Bradstreet Craftshouse) and general manager Kim Tong (Piccolo).

The restaurant will feature an annual commission of a new art work; the opening work is a collage (pictured, above) by Duluth artist Frank Big Bear.

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