Saying goodbye at 38th and Nicollet

Fried okra fans, listen up: Oct. 30 is the last day to enjoy your favorite delicacy -- along with chicken wings, fried catfish, chicken gizzards and corn muffins -- at the one and only Shorty & Wags Original Chicken Wings (3753 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.,, which is closing its landmark corner shop after a 31-year run.

"He's going to retire," said Kerry Johnsen of her boyfriend Harold "Shorty" Prebish. But not for long: Prebish and Johnsen are relocating to their lake home in Longville, Minn., about 3 1/2 hours north of the Twin Cities, where they plan to reopen the restaurant, "hopefully sometime next year," said Johnsen.

More farewells

Cafe Twenty Eight (4743 W. 43rd St., Mpls., co-owners Linda and Todd Haug have announced that they are closing their 10-year-old Linden Hills restaurant at the end of December. Which means there's still time to enjoy the Haugs' terrific Friday night fish fry and terrific beer-friendly menu (Todd is head brewer at Surly Brewing Co.). "We're going to keep doing what we've always done," said Linda. "It just happens that we now have an end date."

Opening Monday 10/17

The Galleria's latest opens its doors Monday: Pittsburgh Blue, in the space previously occupied by Kozy's. It's the second outlet for the steakhouse/tavern concept, owned by Parasole Restaurant Holdings; the first is in Maple Grove (11900 Main St. N.). As he has done at other Parasole properties, La Belle Vie chef Tim McKee has refined the menu. The kitchen is being overseen by chef Jason Smith (an Il Gatto and St. Paul Grill veteran), who will be preparing lunch and dinner daily, along with Sunday brunch and a daily happy hour with $2, $3 and $5 food options.

Fro-yo in Highland

Minnesota's first Menchie's Frozen Yogurt franchise (750 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, opened last weekend in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood. The shop has a do-it-yourself quality, with customers mixing and matching flavors -- 14 different daily choices, from a universe of 100-plus -- with more than 50 toppings. It's all sold by weight: 45 cents an ounce.

Sad news

Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and countless fans of Doll Laboe, the gifted baker who founded It Takes the Cake in Minnetonka. Laboe, who learned the art of cake decorating at the former Lincoln Del before going on to open her own popular bakery, died last week. We were fortunate to have Doll create a cake recipe in 2004 to celebrate Taste's 35th birthday. You can find it here.