Perhaps you've read rapturous stories about the return of Dunkin' Donuts to the Twin Cities. Wow! Donuts? And coffee? Where do we queue?

It's good news -- but on the other hand, our time-travel news-retrieval system has produced this dispatch from the future:

(Mpls) Aug. 10, 2013: The last Dunkin' Donuts closed today, quietly closing out an era that began with great fanfare in 2008 when the company returned to the Twin Cities market after five years.

"We see an opportunity," a company spokesman had said, citing the departure of Starbucks and Krispy Kreme, which "not only left a hole in the area's donut options but had sprinkled the area with empty stores. I'd give you some dry business reasons, but your eyes would glaze over," he said, adding "you understand those are donut puns, right? Because you're not smiling."

The return of Dunkin' Donuts came as a surprise to some, who were unaware that they had ever left, and disappointed those who still missed Mr. Donut, which underwent sex-reassignment surgery in 2005 and changed its focus to éclairs.

The opening of the first Dunkin' Donuts store saw long lines that stretched around the block, even though 65 percent of the people were media types interviewing the rest of the people who'd just come for a donut -- a flurry of attention that rivaled the opening of the area's Sonic Drive-in, when all local TV news shows broadcast live from the parking lot for a solid month. (The Sonic went bankrupt later, due to public perception that they were too busy.)

Subsequent Dunkin' outlets opened at a rate of one per day. As the market became saturated the company attempted to boost sales by expanding outside the core business, introducing a line of salad-topped donuts and "free wireless." (Many were surprised to find that the latter actually meant the old term for "radio.")

Faced with declining sales, the chain began to close underperforming stores, citing a need to "concentrate our resources on our sole outlet on Patterson, New Jersey, which is almost running out of soap in the bathroom, and really needs a good mopping." All Twin Cities stores were closed.

A spokesman for Tim Hortons, a donut company from Canada, said the firm saw "opportunity" in the Twin Cities market, and would open 65,000 stores in the next 16 months. • 612-673-7858 More daily at