Like turning the page to the last chapter of a good book, Sandcastle announced its first day of the season will be May 12 — and that 2022 will be the final summer for the Lake Nokomis stand.

"It's a good chapter closing," said co-owner Amy Greeley.

Greeley and her husband, celebrated chef Doug Flicker, along with longtime friend and colleague Chele Payer first opened Sandcastle in a renovated lakeside stand in 2013. It was an immediate hit, serving hot dogs, watermelon salads, horchata and other treats, but the beginning was also a struggle.

"Our first season was short from the building construction being late," Greeley said. The second year, the patio area, which was supposed to be finished during the off-season, wasn't finished until after the beach had opened. "We didn't have our first full season until the third year," she said.

Challenges aside, the Minneapolis waterfront stand found its groove and was open for several seasons before the pandemic descended.

When Sandcastle first opened, Flicker was better known as a fine-dining chef who had steered Piccolo and before that Auriga to white-linen glory and praise. Now, he and Greeley own and operate the beloved neighborhood bar Bull's Horn. They've traded the fine silver for wax paper and burgers, and Sandcastle was a first step into a more casual setting.

"In all these years, we've done so many things [at Sandcastle]. We've done so much with the community," said Greeley. "We've had kids who worked there when they were 15 and now they're 25. Now it's 10 years later and we need to refocus."

One community hit was the introduction of a Friday night pickle-brined fried chicken special. There was an epic journey to secure a soft serve ice cream machine to be able to bring twist cones to the lake. And there were overly enthusiastic water fowl that sometimes had to be coaxed off the deck.

For its final season, the stand is staffed up and ready to serve its full menu for the first time since the pandemic. The park board will soon put out a call for potential tenants to take over the building with its liquor license, with the hope of having someone in place for the 2023 season.

"It can be a new dream for someone," said Greeley.

Sandcastle, 4955 Nokomis Pkwy. W., Mpls., Open daily from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. beginning May 12.